Education and Religion
Throughout most of Western history, education and religion have been.Intertwined. The training of priests’ was one of the earliest’ reasons for developing schools. Most of our earlier schools and universities were operated by churches, Public schools and colleges “!e largely a product of the past century/There are many European countries in which education is still largely church-operated.Since both church and school teach values, they often come into conflict. One solution is for the church to ‘control the schools, as in many Catholic countries. A second solution is secular public schools, divorced from all church control, as in Mexico. Although Mexicois 96 percent Catholic, secular public schools were mandated in Mexico’s new constitution. in 1917. A third solution is the dual school system, allowing private church schools as well as secular public schools .. This is most common in countries with multiple religious faiths as in the United States. When ever there is a dual school system, there-are continuous efforts by at least some church leaders to influence public school teaching and to gain public support for church schools,
TAX SUPPORT FOR CHURCH SCHOOLS” For many,years, leaders of some churches (mostly Catholic) have sought tax support for church schools. The usual suggestion is for tax credits to parents of parochial school pupils or for a pouch system giving parents of all’ students a voucher which can be ,”cashed” at any school, public or private. Proponents of tax credits argue that parents of parochial school students should.not be expected to pay for two school systems. Proponents of the voucher system argue that competition would produce better schools. Opponents of both argue that to fragment education into many competing systems bewilder inefficient and divisive. A slender majority of t·he public opposes tax support for private schools [Public Opinion, 5:39, [une/luly 1982J, and its enactment is in doubt.