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Suit Challenges New Jersey Law for Busing of Parochial School Pupils

A suit was filed in the New Jersey Superior Court here today, challenging the constitutionality of the new state law that provides free bus transportation for private and parochial school pupils.

Joining in the action, sponsored by the state branch of the American Civil Liberties Union, are the Teaneck Board of Education, five of its nine members and three Bergen County taxpayers. They charge that free busing of pupils in non-public schools “constitutes an establishment of religion” — in violation of constitutional guarantees of separation of church and state, as embodied in the First and 14th Amendments.

The new law went into effect today, the first day of school for many of New Jersey’s two-million pupils. It provides busing at public expense — estimated at eight million dollars per year — for private and parochial pupils living within 20 miles of their schools.