N.Y. Governor Urged to Veto Bill on Textbooks to Religious Schools

The American Jewish Congress today called on Governor Rockefeller to veto a bill to increase state funds for supplying textbooks to students in private and parochial schools. In a telegram to the Governor, the A.J. Congress said that the measure would threaten the integrity of the public school system; imperil the constitutional safeguards of separation of church and state; and delay further progress to end segregation in the public school. The bill was passed last month and sent to the Governor for signature.

The controversial bill was enacted as an amendment to the 1965 Ferrall Act, which goes into effect next September 1. The statute requires local school boards to buy textbooks and lend them to pupils in grades 7 through 12 in nonpublic schools. As the law now stands, the state will reimburse local school boards up to $10 a pupil under the program. The bill before the Governor would increase this reimbursement to $25 a pupil for the first school year (1966-67) and provide $10 a year thereafter. The new measure also contains a provision that any money spent above these limits could be included by the local board in its operating expenses, upon which state aid to school districts is based.

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