Constitutional Law- Freedom of Religion- Tuition Payments to Parochial Schools Violate Fourteenth Amendment

Because defendant school district did not maintain a high school within the school district, tuition payments were made, as provided by statute, to the high schools attended by pupils residing within the district. The parents of each student selected the high school to be attended. As a result of this program, some tuition payments were made to high schools operated by the Roman Catholic Church. Plaintiff taxpayer sought in a declaratory judgment a determination of the validity of tuition payments made to Catholic high schools under the United States Constitution and the Constitution of Vermont. The court of chancery held the payments unconstitutional. On appeal, held, affirmed. The payment of tuition to a religious denominational school by a public entity constitutes an “establishment of religion” in violation of the fourteenth amendment of the United States Constitution. Swart v. South Burlingon Town School Dist., 167 A.2d 514 (Vt. 1961).