THE CONSTITUTIONAL POSSIBILITIES FOR GOVERNMENTAL FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO NONPUBLIC SCHOOL PARENTS

PETER M. J STRAVINSKAS, Fordham University

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to discover the constitutional possibilities for federal financial assistance to nonpublic school parents in a multi-disciplinary manner. Special consideration was given to the Supreme Court's perception of the nature and purpose of Catholic schools and to diocesan school policy handbooks for refutation or substantiation of the Court's impressions of Catholic schools.^ Major finds at the public policy level were that aid: has ample precedents; would improve educational quality because of competition; is supported by a majority of Americans but has been opposed by many for reasons of anti-Catholicism.^ Constitutional aspects of the question revealed that: The First Amendment's prohibition of an establishment of religion was primarily designed to prevent the erection of a governmentally sponsored national church; other western democracies prove that separation of Church and State is possible even with governmental support of denominational schools, as does the first 125 years of this nation's history.^ Difficulties with financial aid have surfaced at the Supreme Court level, where the Court has mistakenly stereotyped Catholic education as a monolithic system, with no support for their views in the diocesan policy manuals.^ Yet another insight gained was the strong, consistent relationship that exists between a justice's image of the parochial school and how he voted on a given case before him, and how special interest groups or those with a history of anti-Catholic bias have influenced the Court.^ The study concluded with recommendations for the Supreme Court, nonpublic school personnel and parents, legislative bodies and public schools personnel. ^

Subject Area

Law

Recommended Citation

STRAVINSKAS, PETER M. J, "THE CONSTITUTIONAL POSSIBILITIES FOR GOVERNMENTAL FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO NONPUBLIC SCHOOL PARENTS" (1982). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8213623.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8213623

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