NEW YORK (Nov. 3)
The Agudath Israel of America made public a message from Vice-President Hubert H. Humphrey, the Democratic Presidential nominee, supporting “educational assistance by the federal government… to children in both public and non-public schools.” Mr. Humphrey’s message was addressed to Rabbi Moshe Sherer, executive president of the Orthodox organization, who had previously written the Vice-President to learn his position on the controversial issue.
Mr. Humphrey declared that he is “in complete agreement” with the June 10 United States Supreme Court decision that credited parochial schools with “performing, in addition to their sectarian function, the task of secular education.” He said that the “educational crisis confronting this nation” can only be solved by the “utilization of all educational resources, public and non-public,” Rabbi Sherer said.
The organization announced a drive to extend the loan of textbooks to non-public school children from the first through the sixth grades on the basis of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision upholding the constitutionality of New York State’s textbook law. The current law grants the books for pupils in the seventh through 12th grades. Federal aid to non-public schools, including the loan of textbooks, has been challenged by many civil liberties organizations, Jewish and non-Jewish on grounds that it violates the Constitutional provision for the separation of church and state. Federal aid is supported mainly by Catholic and Orthodox Jewish groups.