New Jersey to Hold Public Hearings on Aid to Religious Schools

Under heavy pressure from Jewish, Protestant and civil rights groups, Gov. Richard J. Hughes yielded yesterday to demands for a public legislative hearing on his proposal to provide free busing for an additional 60, 000 of New Jersey’s religious and private school pupils. Initially, Gov. Hughes had rejected appeals even from his Democratic leaders in the State Legislature.

The Governor had argued that a public hearing would be ” a rehearsal of very ancient and in some cases very ugly arguments.” His proposal, which has been approved by the Assembly, 41 to 11, and which is expected to pass the Senate next month, would extend free busing, now used by 60, 000 non-public school pupils on established public school routes, to about 60, 000 more such pupils for whom new routes would be created. The public hearing, which will be held before the Senate vote, was not expected to endanger passage.

NEXT STORY