Religious Schools Dissatisfied with Federal Allocation System

Officials of Catholic, Protestant and Jewish religious day schools warned today they would seek postponement of grants of $65,000,000 in federal programs for disadvantaged school children in New York City because they were dissatisfied with the way the funds are scheduled to be allocated for religious school pupils.

The threat was made by the Committee of Nonpublic School Officials, which says it represents 400,000 such children in New York City. The committee said it would ask the New York State and Federal governments to hold up the program unless assurances were given that religious school students would benefit “in a comparable and equitable manner” with public school students from the program.

The funds are provided under Title I of the federal program for aid to elementary and second education, which provides about $1,000,000,000 for such assistance.

The entire federal school aid program meanwhile appeared likely to come under more intensive attack by foes of such aid in the wake of a United States Supreme Court action yesterday which left standing a ruling by the Court of Appeals of Maryland that colleges of sectarian status cannot receive public grants, even when the funds were to have been spent for non-religious purposes. The Maryland high court held that such grants violate the First Amendment ban against an official establishment of religion.

The Supreme Court sidestepped the issue by declining to review the Maryland ruling. The decision does not mean the Supreme Court had approved the Maryland ban.

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