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Pearl to Launch Statewide Campaign to Oppose State Aid for Parochial Schools

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The Committee for Public Education and Religious Liberty (PEARL) has announced that it would launch an “intensive, state-wide campaign” to oppose efforts in the state legislature to provide state aid for parochial school tuition. The committee, a coalition of 26 civic, educational and religious groups, issued its statement in response to reports that proponents of state aid to religious schools would seek enactment of legislation to give $250 per child to parochial school students at the elementary and secondary level. The statement of PEARL, whose members include the American Jewish Congress, Citizens Union, Council of Churches of the City of New York, New York Civil Liberties Union, Public Education Association, United Federation of Teachers, United Parents Associations and other groups, declared:

“The reported decision of the backers of aid to parochial schools to abandon their efforts aimed at repealing the so-called Blaine Amendment is hardly surprising. Wherever the people have had an opportunity to vote directly on the issue, they have rejected the spending of public funds for sectarian schools.” PEARL noted that it is “deplorable” that a drive should be launched to give some $50 million to private schools at a time “when Governor Rockefeller has asserted that the state cannot afford another dollar to help New York City meet its crushing welfare burden and at a time when the public schools stand in desperate need of funds to provide a decent education for more than a million children.”

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