Date of Award

Spring 2002

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Augenstein, John

Second Advisor

Avella, Steven

Third Advisor

Cepelka, Kathleen A.


A major issue in that century long struggle for federal aid to education was federal aid for nonpublic schools. According to Sorauf; it would not be an exaggeration to say that the debate over public aid to private education was in fact not a debate about private schools in general but a debate over aid to Catholic schools. For decades, for a variety of reasons, the Catholic Church was one of the strongest vocal opponents of federal aid to education. First, there was the strong belief that education was the responsibility of the family and the church and not the state. Secondly, there was the fear that federal aid would mean governmental oversight, and that control would threaten the freedom of the Church to administer its own schools. Thirdly, there was the fear that federal financial support to the public schools would force the closure of the parochial schools because they could not compete financially. And, finally, there were, in the church hierarchy, those who believed the public schools were evil, godless places that were hostile to Catholics and taught an anti-Catholic curriculum with the intention of converting all young Catholics to Protestantism...



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