Jewish Leaders Predict Increased Federal Aid for Non-public Schools

A prediction that the Nixon administration will increase its efforts to provide constitutional financial assistance to non-public schools was made jointly by Rabbi Moshe Sherer, executive president of Agudath Israel of America and Rabbi Bernard Goldenberg, associate director of Torah Umesorah, National Society of Hebrew Day Schools, at the conclusion of a two-day conference sponsored by the U.S. Office of Education. Both rabbis were the only Jewish representatives invited by the government to participate in a special conference of public and non-public school superintendents of major cities.

The conference Thursday, in which a combined total of 100 leaders of both sectors participated, was addressed by Assistant Secretary for Education of the Department of Health Education and Welfare Dr. Sidney Marland, as well as Congressional and White House officials.

Rabbi Goldenberg, who is also secretary of the Council for American Private Education (CAPE), the national body of non-public schools, was a member of the panel which discussed “federal programs and non-public school participation.” The government was represented in this panel discussion by Dr. John Ottina, Acting Commissioner of Education and Mr. Charles Saunders, Deputy Commissioner for External Relations of HEW.

The importance of passing legislation granting federal income tax credits for non-public school parents was emphasized in the conference discussion by Rabbi Sherer, president of Citizens Relief for Education by Income Tax (CREDIT), who expressed confidence that a sound bill to this effect would pass during the early part of the current Congressional session. At the close of the conference a national board meeting was held of the CREDIT coalition, which represents five million non-public school children to effectively accelerate Congressional support for this bill.

This was the second such conference convened by the U.S. government (the first was held in November 1971) to enable the leaders of public and private education to share their common problems in educating America’s children.

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