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Resolution On Federal Aid To Education And Nonpublic School Aid

WHEREAS, On June 10, 1974, the United States Supreme Court affirmed the supremacy of state constitutions and school laws in respect to educational services under the Federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (Title I), and

WHEREAS, There is a campaign to make taxpayers responsible for providing parochial and private elementary and secondary school students with educational services available to public school students, with emphasis on an equal-basis distribution, and

WHEREAS, The use of tax funds to finance educational services in church-related schools inures to the benefit of these schools and their total purpose and thus seemingly violates the First Amendment, and

WHEREAS, There is a potential of continuing political controversy between religious groups and also between public and nonpublic schools in any equal-basis philosophy which makes the public treasury responsible for educational services in public, parochial, and private schools or their students, and

WHEREAS, There is a potential of enduring administrative entanglement between agents of church and state in any law which requires public and nonpublic schoolmen to work together in devising and providing educational programs;

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED, That we, messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention in annual meeting on June 13, 1974, oppose any Federal aid-to-education program which attempts to bypass state constitutions and school laws in educational matters and express concern over continuing pressures to make taxpayers equally responsible for educational services in public and nonpublic schools or to their students; and urge church members to resist legislative proposal which would erode First Amendment principles; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we request the Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs to continue its work in representing this position in respect to Federal legislation and further that we encourage similar agencies of various state conventions to act in a similar manner in dealing with state legislation related to nonpublic schools.