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State May Not Aid Non-Public Schools


In Lemon v. Kurtzman, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidates Pennsylvania and Rhode Island laws that provide financial assistance to private and parochial schools. Pennsylvania reimburses schools for teacher salaries, textbooks and other instructional material in secular subjects. Rhode Island supplements teacher salaries. The Court outlines what will be known as the “Lemon test” to determine violation of the establishment clause, asking: Is the law’s purpose nonsecular? Does it have the primary effect of promoting a set of religious beliefs? Does it have “excessive government entanglement” with religion?