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N.Y. State Permits Use of Federal Funds to Aid Religious Schools

Dr. James E. Allen, New York State’s Commissioner of Education, issued a ruling today holding that religious school pupils will be permitted to attend special public school classes financed entirely by the Federal Government under the new aid-to-education act passed recently by Congress.

Dr. Allen’s ruling also held that public schools can now use federal funds to assign teachers to sectarian schools under the “shared time” plan; can purchase supplies and equipment for programs within parochial schools; can rent classrooms in sectarian schools to conduct programs for children from all schools.

Jewish religious leaders immediately hailed Dr. Allen’s ruling. Moses I. Feuerstein, president of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, stated: “The Orthodox Jewish community welcomes this ruling because, under it, the greatest possible benefits of the Federal education act will be made available without discrimination to the maximum number of children, regardless of their school affiliation.”

However, the American Jewish Congress is on record as having stated that it would challenge the constitutionality of the federal act on the grounds that it violates the principle of separation of church from state.

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