ERIC Number: ED225298
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: 0
Nonpublic Education in the United States of America and Australia: The Courts in Educational Policymaking.
Birch, I. K. F.
Examined here is the role of the courts as educational policy makers regarding church-state separation in the United States and Australia. The first part examines the relationship of the public schools to religion, both regarding the teaching of religion in the schools and compulsory education. It is noted that in spite of challenges, the courts have upheld "general" (rather than sectarian) religious teaching in Australian schools. The second part of the paper examines litigation concerning private schools in both countries, especially regarding government aid. It was found that in the United States, private school aid is tightly judicially policed, though very limited aid is allowed. In Australia, however, state aid to private schools is mandated by the legislature and unchallenged by the courts. Policy implications of the laws on church-state relationships are discussed, especially regarding the future of government aid to private schools in both countries. It is concluded that in the United States, legislation benefitting mainly the nonpublic sector is unlikely to withstand judicial challenge, though aid might validly flow to the nonpublic sector when benefitting a broad class of beneficiaries and promoting public welfare. In Australia, private school aid, entrenched in the platforms of all major political parties, is likely to continue to have considerable public support. (Author/JM)
Publication Type: Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials; Reports - Descriptive; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Stanford Univ., CA. Center for Educational Research at Stanford.; University of Western Australia, Perth.; Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA. Inst. for Educational Policy Studies.; National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Produced in conjunction with, and partially funded by, the U.S.-Australia Educational Policy Project at Stanford University.