NEW YORK (Apr. 15)
New York State legal authorities have been asked for a ruling on whether the New York City Board of Education is allowed to lease public school classrooms for use by a Jewish parochial school, it was announced here today.
Dr. Bernard E. Donovan, acting superintendent of New York schools, said he had asked for a ruling on the issue from Dr. Charles A. Brind, counsel for the State Education Department. The move is favored by the applicant for the lease, the Beth Jacob Schools, and is opposed by the American Jewish Congress and the Public Education Association.
Beth Jacob Schools had offered to lease six classrooms in Brooklyn’s Public School No, 105, a building with a capacity of 1, 934 pupils and an enrollment of 940. Dr. Donovan said he had approved the rental previously, but had asked the City Board of Education to delay approval until a ruling had been obtained from State authorities.
According to the American Jewish Congress, the rental would set a “dangerous precedent” which would “threaten to establish religious segregation in the public schools. ” The Congress objection added: “Mingling public and parochial or private school children in the manner suggested here is bound to have unfortunate effects on both groups of children. Religious or other symbols that may characterize the children’s or the teachers’ garb or their facilities would add to the confusion. “