The Elementary and Secondary Education Act the Implications of the Trust-Fund Theory for the Church-State Questions Raised by Title I

The issues raised by the granting of federal aid both to education in general and to non-public education in particular have caused considerable controversy in recent years. Although several federal statutes dealing with various aspects of both types of aid had been enacted previously, the early 1960’s saw an increased desire on the part of Congress to enter this area with a comprehensive plan. Finally, in 1965, the question of aid to education in general was resolved in favor of carrying the war on poverty to the elementary and secondary schools. Simultaneously, a so-called “church-state settlement” was reached whereby it was decided that some form of benefit should also be extended to non-public education. Provisions reflecting both decisions were incorporated into and formed the basis of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA). To accomplish its primary goal of aiding all educationally deprived children with maximum flexibility, the ESEA includes five programs: auxiliary or special educational benefits in the form of services or equipment; textbook grants and loans; special educational centers; grants to universities to advance educational research; and grants to strengthen state departments of education.