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At issue in Board of Education of Central School District No. 1 v. Allen) (1968), often simply called Board of Education v. Allen, was the constitutionality of the loan of textbooks to students in religiously affiliated nonpublic schools. Allen thus dealt with the issue of establishment of religion through the direct use of public funds in relation to religiously affiliated nonpublic schools.

New York education law required local public school authorities to lend textbooks free of charge to all students in grades 7 through 12, including those in private schools. The statute required that the titles of the books be approved by local boards. In Allen, the school boards sought to declare this law unconstitutional, to bar the commissioner of education from removing officials from office ...

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