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Agudath Israel Assails Fleischmann Report Ending Aid to Parochial Schools

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The majority report of the State-appointed Fleischmann Commission, which today urged an end to public aid to non-public schools, has been assailed by Rabbi Moses Sherer, president of Agudath Israel of America, who said it “reeks with bias against nonpublic schools and is a shocking example of a State-financed project not fulfilling the purpose for which it was created.”

The commission’s duty, he said, was “to examine in a scholarly fashion the effectiveness of the non-public schools of New York State, and this obligation was totally unfulfilled.” The commission was appointed two years ago by Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller, who favors public aid to private schools. The minority report favored such aid if it could be done constitutionally.

The majority report, Rabbi Sherer continued, “blindly refuses to acknowledge the contribution made by the non-public schools to the education of the State’s children, which simple courtesy would have required before administering such a severe blow to the very future existence of these schools.”

Charging that the report represented the issue as solely a “Catholic problem,” he declared: “The only issue is the right of parents to exercise their freedom of choice in education, and the recognition that American education is pluralistic and not monolithic.”

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