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Mitchell v. Helms (2000) stands out as the case in which the U.S. Supreme Court held that a federal program that loaned instructional materials and equipment to schools, including those that were religiously affiliated, was permissible under the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The program, known as Chapter 2 of the Education Consolidation and Improvement Act of 1981 (Chapter 2), provided a mechanism for local educational agencies, usually public school boards, to use federal monies to purchase secular, neutral, and nonideological materials and equipment and lend them to nonpublic schools. The amount of federal funds spent on the schools was based on the number of children enrolled in each school.

Facts of the Case

At issue in Mitchell was implementation of Chapter ...

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