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Hartford Unit Joins Opposition to Bill Providing State Aid to Parochial Schools

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The Jewish Community Relations Council of Connecticut has joined with the Connecticut Council of Churches in opposition to a bill that would provide state financial aid to the parents of children in parochial and other private schools in Connecticut. A brief drafted by representatives of the two groups was submitted to the State Legislature detailing the reasons for their opposition. It was drafted in part by Jeffrey M. Mines, a Hartford attorney who heads the Jewish Community Relations Council’s legislative committee. The bill is supported by the Connecticut Catholic Communities of Education and the bishops of the diocese of Hartford. Bridgeport and Norwich.

The measure under consideration would pay for the secular portion of a pupil’s education in religious schools with grants payable to parents nearly matching what the state gives to public schools per pupil. The opposing brief stated that the secular subjects which the legislation is designed to aid cannot be separated from the total picture of parochial education. It contended that it would violate the Constitutional separation of church and state and added that “the use of tax funds to aid parochial schools is bound to spread disaffection among the many citizens who will conclude–not without reason–that their individual religious freedom is violated because they are being compelled to pay for the support of religious institutions to which they do not belong.”

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