Proposed by the AEU Public Affairs Committee; passed by Executive Committee as directed by the AEU 65th Assembly (submitted too late for Assembly)
The American Ethical Union believes it is essential at this time to reaffirm its position opposing the use of public funds for nonpublic schools in the light of continued attempts by groups favoring such aid.
Various devices such as payment for teachers, secular services, tuition reimbursement, the voucher system, for record keeping [sic] – and now tuition credit have been proposed. The first five methods have individually been declared unconstitutional by Federal District Courts or the U.S. Supreme Court. The tuition credit method now proposed in Congress would in effect:
- Help in establishing two systems of education, one for the affluent or religiously-oriented and the other for the deprived and minority groups.
- Such an act would discriminate against those paying no taxes, and those denominations that do not maintain separate day schools.
- Any such measure cannot provide for adequate review and would make enforcement of the Civil Rights Act difficult, and create entanglement with religion.
For the foregoing reasons and the fact that this act would violate the constitutional principle of separation between Church and State, the American Ethical Union wishes to record its opposition to tax and credits or any other direct or indirect aid to non-public schools, and urges that moneys available be used to strengthen the public school system.