Pennsylvania Jewish Groups Oppose Bill to Provide State Aid to Non-public Schools

The Pennsylvania Jewish Community Relations Conference urged the Pennsylvania House Committee on Basic Education today not to enact legislation providing State aid to non-public schools and expressed its opposition to “the beginning of any financial alliance between church and state.” The conference coordinates the community relations activities of nine Pennsylvania Jewish communities and of the regional offices of nine major national Jewish organizations.

Speaking in its behalf today, Ephraim M. Baker, of Harrisburg, a conference co-chairman, told the legislative committee that the conference’s opposition “rests on basic constitutional grounds and equally basic considerations of public policy.” He charged that pending legislative proposals “are intended to provide a means for avoiding the constitutional prohibitions and by such means to infuse as much public money as possible into the religious educational system.”

Enactment of the proposed legislation, he said, would compel citizens to “support religion,” would adversely affect public schools and would result in competition among religious groups for their “fair share of the public treasury.”

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