Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971)

Lemon v. Kurtzman was decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1971 and was heard concurrently with Earley v. DiCenso (1971) and Robinson v. DiCenso (1971). At issue was the constitutionality of two separate but similar statutes enacted in Pennsylvania (1968) and Rhode Island (1969) that provided state aid to nonpublic schools in support of the instruction they provided in secular subjects. The legislation was intended as a way to address the rising costs of quality education and to balance support for secular forms of education in public and nonpublic school contexts. The Pennsylvania statute provided financial support to nonpublic schools for teacher salaries, textbooks, and instructional materials for secular subjects. The Rhode Island statute provided supplemental salary payments of 15% to teachers in nonpublic ...

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