The American Jewish Committee today expressed its opposition to income tax credits for tuition payments to nonpublic elementary and secondary schools as “an unsound expenditure of public funds” which “would undermine the principle of separation of church and state.”
The AJCommittee also declared that the adoption of legislation now before Congress to grant such credits would “reduce the resources available for support of public education.”
In a statement by its national education committee made public here today by Mrs. Carol N. Stix, education chairperson, the AJCommittee pointed out that the tax credit legislation, adopted by the House of Representatives and currently pending in the Senate, would provide income tax reductions for all parents who send their children to non-public schools, regardless of their income.
The AJCommittee added that if the principle of partial reimbursement for tuition costs were legitimate, there would be inevitable pressure to grant tax credits for the total amounts of tuition, leading to increasing abandonment of “inadequately financed public schools.” The end result of such a process, the AJCommittee insisted, would be that public schools would become “isolated scrap heaps for our society’s rejects whom private schools are unwilling to accept.”
While recognizing the important contributions which have been made by private and parochial schools, the statement emphasized that public education still constituted a “great unifying force in our pluralistic society. This nation and its children will be best served by increasing the resources available to make them better and more responsive to our needs. This cannot be done if limited Federal resources are provided instead for those who choose to leave the public schools.”
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.