MR. JUSTICE BLACKMUN delivered the opinion of the Court (Parts I, V, VI, VII, and VIII), together with an opinion (Parts II, III, and IV), in which THE CHIEF JUSTICE, MR. JUSTICE STEWART, and MR. JUSTICE POWELL joined.
This is still another case presenting the recurrent issue of the limitations imposed by the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, made applicable to the States by the Fourteenth Amendment, Meek v. Pittenger, 421 U.S. 349, 351 (1975), on state aid to pupils in church-related elementary and secondary schools. Appellants are citizens and taxpayers of Ohio. They challenge all but one of the provisions of Ohio
Section 3317.06 was enacted after this Court's May 1975 decision in Meek v. Pittenger, supra, and obviously is an attempt to conform to the teachings of that decision.
The initial biennial appropriation by the Ohio Legislature for implementation of the statute was the sum of $88,800,000.
The parties stipulated that during the 1974-1975 school year there were 720 chartered nonpublic schools in Ohio. Of these, all but 29 were sectarian. More than 96% of the nonpublic enrollment attended sectarian schools, and more than 92% attended Catholic schools. Id., at 28-29. It was also stipulated that, if they were called, officials of representative Catholic schools would testify that such schools operate under the general supervision of the bishop of their diocese; that most principals are members of a religious order within the Catholic Church; that a little less than one-third of the teachers are members of such religious orders; that "in all probability a majority of the teachers are members of the Catholic faith"; and that many of the rooms and hallways in these schools are decorated with a Christian symbol. Id., at 30-33. All such schools teach the secular subjects required to meet the State's minimum standards. The state-mandated five-hour day is expanded to include, usually, one-half hour of religious instruction. Pupils who are not members of the Catholic faith are not required to attend religion classes or to participate in religious exercises or activities, and no teacher is required to teach religious doctrine as a part of the secular courses taught in the schools. Ibid.
The parties also stipulated that nonpublic school officials, if called, would testify that none of the schools covered by the statute discriminate in the admission of pupils or in the hiring
The District Court concluded:
The mode of analysis for Establishment Clause questions is defined by the three-part test that has emerged from the
In the present case we have no difficulty with the first prong of this three-part test. We are satisfied that the challenged statute reflects Ohio's legitimate interest in protecting the health of its youth and in providing a fertile educational environment for all the schoolchildren of the State.
We have acknowledged before, and we do so again here, that the wall of separation that must be maintained between church and state "is a blurred, indistinct, and variable barrier depending on all the circumstances of a particular relationship." Lemon, 403 U. S., at 614. Nonetheless, the Court's numerous precedents "have become firmly rooted," Nyquist, 413 U. S., at 761, and now provide substantial guidance. We therefore turn to the task of applying the rules derived from our decisions to the respective provisions of the statute at issue.
Section 3317.06 authorizes the expenditure of funds:
The parties' stipulations reflect operation of the textbook program in accord with the dictates of the statute. In addition, it was stipulated:
This system for the loan of textbooks to individual students bears a striking resemblance to the systems approved in Board of Education v. Allen, 392 U.S. 236 (1968), and in
In the alternative, appellants urge that we overrule Allen and Meek. This we decline to do. Accordingly, we conclude that § 3317.06 (A) is constitutional.
Testing and Scoring
Section 3317.06 authorizes expenditure of funds:
These tests "are used to measure the progress of students in secular subjects." App. 48. Nonpublic school personnel are not involved in either the drafting or scoring of the tests. 417 F. Supp., at 1124. The statute does not authorize any payment to nonpublic school personnel for the costs of administering the tests.
In Levitt v. Committee for Public Education, 413 U.S. 472 (1973), this Court invalidated a New York statutory scheme for reimbursement of church-sponsored schools for the expenses of teacher-prepared testing. The reasoning behind that decision was straightforward. The system was held unconstitutional because "no means are available, to assure that internally prepared tests are free of religious instruction."
Section 3317.06 authorizes expenditures of funds:
It will be observed that these speech and hearing and psychological diagnostic services are to be provided within the nonpublic school. It is stipulated, however, that the personnel (with the exception of physicians) who perform the services are employees of the local board of education; that physicians may be hired on a contract basis; that the purpose of these services is to determine the pupil's deficiency or need of assistance; and that treatment of any defect so found would take place off the nonpublic school premises. App. 37-38. See Part VI, infra.
Appellants assert that the funding of these services is constitutionally impermissible. They argue that the speech and
The District Court found these dangers so insubstantial as not to render the statute unconstitutional. 417 F. Supp., at 1121-1122. We agree. This Court's decisions contain a common thread to the effect that the provision of health services to all schoolchildren—public and nonpublic—does not have the primary effect of aiding religion. In Lemon v. Kurtzman, the Court stated:
See also Meek v. Pittenger, 421 U. S., at 364, 368 n. 17. Indeed, appellants recognize this fact in not challenging subsection (E) of the statute that authorizes publicly funded physician, nursing, dental, and optometric services in nonpublic schools.
In Meek the Court did hold unconstitutional a portion of a Pennsylvania statute at issue there that authorized certain
The reason for considering diagnostic services to be different from teaching or counseling is readily apparent. First, diagnostic services, unlike teaching or counseling, have little or no educational content and are not closely associated with the educational mission of the nonpublic school. Accordingly, any pressure on the public diagnostician to allow the intrusion of sectarian views is greatly reduced. Second, the diagnostician has only limited contact with the child, and that contact involves chiefly the use of objective and professional testing methods to detect students in need of treatment. The nature of the relationship between the diagnostician and the pupil does not provide the same opportunity for the transmission of sectarian views as attends the relationship between teacher and student or that between counselor and student.
We conclude that providing diagnostic services on the nonpublic school premises will not create an impermissible risk of the fostering of ideological views. It follows that there is no need for excessive surveillance, and there will not be impermissible entanglement. We therefore hold that §§ 3317.06 (D) and (F) are constitutional.
Sections 3317.06 (G), (H), (I), and (K) authorize expenditures of funds for certain therapeutic, guidance, and remedial services for students who have been identified as having a need for specialized attention.
At the outset, we note that in its present posture the case does not properly present any issue concerning the use of a public facility as an adjunct of a sectarian educational enterprise. The District Court construed the statute, as do we, to authorize services only on sites that are "neither physically
We recognize that, unlike the diagnostician, the therapist may establish a relationship with the pupil in which there might be opportunities to transmit ideological views. In Meek the Court acknowledged the danger that publicly employed personnel who provide services analogous to those at issue here might transmit religious instruction and advance religious beliefs in their activities. But, as discussed in Part V, supra, the Court emphasized that this danger arose from the fact that the services were performed in the pervasively sectarian atmosphere of the church-related school. 421 U. S., at 371. See also Lemon, 403 U. S., at 618-619. The danger existed there, not because the public employee was likely deliberately to subvert his task to the service of religion, but rather because the pressures of the environment might alter his behavior from its normal course. So long as these types of services are offered at truly religiously neutral locations, the danger perceived in Meek does not arise.
The fact that a unit on a neutral site on occasion may serve only sectarian pupils does not provoke the same concerns that troubled the Court in Meek.
Accordingly, we hold that providing therapeutic and remedial services at a neutral site off the premises of the nonpublic schools will not have the impermissible effect of advancing religion. Neither will there be any excessive entanglement arising from supervision of public employees to insure that they maintain a neutral stance. It can hardly be said that the supervision of public employees performing public functions on public property creates an excessive entanglement between church and state. Sections 3317.06 (G), (H), (I), and (K) are constitutional.
Instructional Materials and Equipment
Sections 3317.06 (B) and (C) authorize expenditures of funds for the purchase and loan to pupils or their parents upon individual request of instructional materials and instructional equipment of the kind in use in the public schools within the district and which is "incapable of diversion to religious use."
Although the exact nature of the material and equipment is not clearly revealed, the parties have stipulated: "It is expected that materials and equipment loaned to pupils or parents under the new law will be similar to such former materials and equipment except that to the extent that the law requires that materials and equipment capable of diversion to religious issues will not be supplied." App. 36.
In Meek, however, the Court considered the constitutional validity of a direct loan to nonpublic schools of instructional material and equipment, and, despite the apparent secular nature of the goods, held the loan impermissible. MR. JUSTICE STEWART, in writing for the Court, stated:
Thus, even though the loan ostensibly was limited to neutral and secular instructional material and equipment, it inescapably had the primary effect of providing a direct and substantial advancement of the sectarian enterprise.
Appellees seek to avoid Meek by emphasizing that it involved a program of direct loans to nonpublic schools. In contrast, the material and equipment at issue under the Ohio statute are loaned to the pupil or his parent. In our view, however, it would exalt form over substance if this distinction were found to justify a result different from that in Meek. Before Meek was decided by this Court, Ohio authorized the loan of material and equipment directly to the nonpublic schools. Then, in light of Meek, the state legislature decided to channel the goods through the parents and pupils. Despite the technical change in legal bailee, the program in substance is the same as before: The equipment is substantially the same; it will receive the same use by the students; and it may still be stored and distributed on the nonpublic school premises. In view of the impossibility of separating the secular education function from the sectarian, the state aid inevitably flows in part in support of the religious role of the schools.
Indeed, this conclusion is compelled by the Court's prior consideration of an analogous issue in Committee for Public Education v. Nyquist, 413 U.S. 756 (1973). There the Court considered, among others, a tuition reimbursement program
Section 3317.06 also authorizes expenditures of funds:
There is no restriction on the timing of field trips; the only restriction on number lies in the parallel the statute draws to field trips provided to public school students in the district. The parties have stipulated that the trips "would consist of visits to governmental, industrial, cultural, and scientific centers designed to enrich the secular studies of students."
The District Court, 417 F. Supp., at 1124-1125, held this feature to be constitutionally indistinguishable from that with which the Court was concerned in Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1 (1947). We do not agree. In Everson the Court approved a system under which a New Jersey board of education reimbursed parents for the cost of sending their children to and from school, public or parochial, by public carrier. The Court analogized the reimbursement to situations where a municipal common carrier is ordered to carry all schoolchildren at a reduced rate, or where the police force is ordered to protect all children on their way to and from school. Id., at 17. The critical factors in these examples, as in the Everson reimbursement system, are that the school has no control over the expenditure of the funds and the effect of the expenditure is unrelated to the content of the education provided. Thus, the bus fare program in Everson passed constitutional muster because the school did not determine how often the pupil traveled between home and school—every child must make one round trip every day—and because the travel was unrelated to any aspect of the curriculum.
The Ohio situation is in sharp contrast. First, the nonpublic school controls the timing of the trips and, within a certain range, their frequency and destinations. Thus, the schools, rather than the children, truly are the recipients of the service and, as this Court has recognized, this fact alone may be sufficient to invalidate the program as impermissible direct aid. See Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U. S., at 621. Second, although a trip may be to a location that would be of interest to those in public schools, it is the individual teacher who makes a field trip meaningful. The experience begins with the study and discussion of the place to be visited; it continues on location with the teacher pointing out items of interest and stimulating the imagination; and it ends with a
Funding of field trips, therefore, must be treated as was the funding of maps and charts in Meek v. Pittenger, supra, the funding of buildings and tuition in Committee for Public Education v. Nyquist, supra, and the funding of teacher-prepared tests in Levitt v. Committee for Public Education, supra; it must be declared an impermissible direct aid to sectarian education.
Moreover, the public school authorities will be unable adequately to insure secular use of the field trip funds without close supervision of the nonpublic teachers. This would create excessive entanglement:
We hold § 3317.06 (L) to be unconstitutional.
In summary, we hold constitutional those portions of the Ohio statute authorizing the State to provide nonpublic school pupils with books, standardized testing and scoring, diagnostic services, and therapeutic and remedial services. We hold unconstitutional those portions relating to instructional materials and equipment and field trip services.
The judgment of the District Court is therefore affirmed in part and reversed in part.
It is so ordered.
THE CHIEF JUSTICE dissents from Parts VII and VIII of the Court's opinion.
For the reasons stated in MR. JUSTICE REHNQUIST'S separate opinion in Meek v. Pittenger, 421 U.S. 349 (1975), and MR. JUSTICE WHITE'S dissenting opinion in Committee for Public Education v. Nyquist, 413 U.S. 756 (1973), MR. JUSTICE WHITE and MR. JUSTICE REHNQUIST concur in the judgment with respect to textbooks, testing and scoring, and diagnostic and therapeutic services (Parts III, IV, V and VI of the opinion) and dissent from the judgment with respect to instructional materials and equipment and field trips (Parts VII and VIII of the opinion).
MR. JUSTICE BRENNAN, concurring in part and dissenting in part.
I join Parts I, VII, and VIII of the Court's opinion, and the reversal of the District Court's judgment insofar as that judgment upheld the constitutionality of Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §§ 3317.06 (B), (C), and (L) (Supp. 1976).
I dissent however from Parts II, III, and IV (plurality opinion) and Parts V and VI of the Court's opinion and the affirmance
MR. JUSTICE MARSHALL, concurring in part and dissenting in part.
I join Parts I, V, VII, and VIII of the Court's opinion. For the reasons stated below, however, I am unable to join the remainder of the Court's opinion or its judgment upholding the constitutionality of Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §§ 3317.06 (A), (G), (H), (I), (J), and (K) (Supp. 1976).
The Court upholds the textbook loan provision, § 3317.06 (A), on the precedent of Board of Education v. Allen, 392 U.S. 236
In Allen, we upheld a textbook loan program on the assumption that the sectarian school's twin functions of religious instruction and secular education were separable. 392 U. S., at 245-248. In Meek, we flatly rejected that assumption as a basis for allowing a State to loan secular teaching materials and equipment to such schools:
Thus, although Meek upheld a textbook loan program on the strength of Allen, it left the rationale of Allen undamaged only if there is a constitutionally significant difference between a loan of pedagogical materials directly to a sectarian school and a loan of those materials to students for use in sectarian
Allen has also been undercut by our recognition in Lemon that "the divisive political potential" of programs of aid to sectarian schools is one of the dangers of entanglement of church and state that the First Amendment was intended to forestall. 403 U. S., at 622-624. We were concerned in Lemon with the danger that the need for annual appropriations of larger and larger sums would lead to "[p]olitical fragmentation and divisiveness on religious lines." Id., at 623. This danger exists whether the appropriations are made to fund textbooks, other instructional supplies, or, as in Lemon, teachers' salaries. As MR. JUSTICE BRENNAN has noted, Allen did not consider the significance of the potential for political divisiveness inherent in programs of aid to sectarian schools. Meek v. Pittenger, supra, at 378 (concurring in part and dissenting in part).
It is, of course, unquestionable that textbooks are central to the educational process.
By overruling Allen, we would free ourselves to draw a line between acceptable and unacceptable forms of aid that would be both capable of consistent application and responsive to the concerns discussed above. That line, I believe, should be placed between general welfare programs that serve children in sectarian schools because the schools happen to be a convenient place to reach the programs' target populations and programs of educational assistance.
In addition to § 3317.06 (A), which authorizes the textbook loan program, paragraphs (B), (C), and (L), held unconstitutional by the Court, clearly fall on the wrong side of the constitutional line I propose. Those paragraphs authorize, respectively, the loan of instructional materials and equipment and the provision of transportation for school field trips. There can be no contention that these programs provide anything other than educational assistance.
I also agree with the Court that the services authorized by paragraphs (D), (F), and (G) are constitutionally permissible. Those services are speech and hearing diagnosis, psychological diagnosis, and psychological and speech and hearing therapy. Like the medical, nursing, dental, and optometric services authorized by paragraph (E) and not challenged by appellants, these services promote the children's health and wellbeing, and have only an indirect and remote impact on their educational progress.
The Court upholds paragraphs (H), (I), and (K), which it groups with paragraph (G), under the rubric of "therapeutic services." Ante, at 244-248. I cannot agree that the services
Paragraphs (I) and (K) provide remedial services and programs for disabled children. The stipulation of the parties indicates that these paragraphs will fund specialized teachers who will both provide instruction themselves and create instructional plans for use in the students' regular classrooms. Id., at 47-48. These "therapeutic services" are clearly intended to aid the sectarian schools to improve the performance of their students in the classroom. I would not treat them as if they were programs of physical or psychological therapy.
Finally, the Court upholds paragraph (J), which provides standardized tests and scoring services, on the ground that these tests are clearly nonideological and that the State has an interest in assuring that the education received by sectarian school students meets minimum standards. I do not question the legitimacy of this interest, and if Ohio required students to obtain specified scores on certain tests before being promoted or graduated, I would agree that it could administer those tests to sectarian school students to ensure that its standards were being met. The record indicates, however, only that the tests
MR. JUSTICE POWELL, concurring in part, concurring in the judgment in part, and dissenting in part.
Our decisions in this troubling area draw lines that often must seem arbitrary. No doubt we could achieve greater analytical tidiness if we were to accept the broadest implications of the observation in Meek v. Pittenger, 421 U.S. 349, 366 (1975), that "[s]ubstantial aid to the educational function of [sectarian] schools . . . necessarily results in aid to the sectarian enterprise as a whole." If we took that course, it would become impossible to sustain state aid of any kind— even if the aid is wholly secular in character and is supplied to the pupils rather than the institutions. Meek itself would have to be overruled, along with Board of Education v. Allen, 392 U.S. 236 (1968), and even perhaps Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1 (1947). The persistent desire of a number of States to find proper means of helping sectarian education to survive would be doomed. This Court has not yet thought that such a harsh result is required by the Establishment Clause. Certainly few would consider it in the public interest. Parochial schools, quite apart from their sectarian purpose, have provided an educational alternative for millions of young Americans; they often afford wholesome competition with our public schools; and in some States they relieve substantially the tax burden incident to the operation of public schools. The State has, moreover, a legitimate interest in facilitating education of the highest quality for all children within its boundaries, whatever school their parents have chosen for them.
With respect to Part VII, I concur only in the judgment. I am not persuaded, nor did Meek hold, that all loans of secular instructional material and equipment "inescapably [have] the primary effect of providing a direct and substantial advancement of the sectarian enterprise." Ante, at 250. If that were the case, then Meek surely would have overruled Allen. Instead the Court reaffirmed Allen, thereby necessarily holding that at least some such loans of materials helpful in the educational process are permissible—so long as the aid is incapable of diversion to religious uses, cf. Committee for Public Education v. Nyquist, 413 U.S. 756 (1973), and so long as the materials are lent to the individual students or their parents and not to the sectarian institutions. Here the statute is expressly limited to materials incapable of diversion. Therefore the relevant question is whether the materials are such that they are "furnished for the use of individual students and at their request." Allen, supra, at 244 n. 6 (emphasis added).
The Ohio statute includes some materials such as wall maps,
I dissent as to Part VIII, concerning field trip transportation. The Court writes as though the statute funded the salary of the teacher who takes the students on the outing. In fact only the bus and driver are provided for the limited purpose of physical movement between the school and the secular destination of the field trip. As I find this aid indistinguishable in principle from that upheld in Everson, supra, I would sustain the District Court's judgment approving this part of the Ohio statute.
MR. JUSTICE STEVENS, concurring in part and dissenting in part.
The distinction between the religious and the secular is a fundamental one. To quote from Clarence Darrow's argument in the Scopes case:
Under that test, a state subsidy of sectarian schools is invalid regardless of the form it takes. The financing of buildings, field trips, instructional materials, educational tests, and schoolbooks are all equally invalid.
This Court's efforts to improve on the Everson test have not proved successful. "Corrosive precedents"
Accordingly, I dissent from Parts II, III, and IV of the plurality's opinion.
Thomas A. Quintrell and Thomas V. Chema filed a brief for 21 Ohio Independent Schools as amici curiae urging affirmance.
Solicitor General McCree filed a memorandum for the United States as amicus curiae. Briefs of amici curiae were filed by W. Bernard Richland for the city of New York; and by Leonard J. Schwartz, Andrew M. Fishman, and Philip Dunson for the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio et al.
On remand, the District Court entered a consent order, dated November 17, 1975, declaring the predecessor statute, which by then had been repealed, violative of the First and Fourteenth Amendments, but reserving decision on the constitutionality of the successor legislation. Appellants, who were plaintiffs in the original suit, then shifted their challenge to the present, successor statute.
"Health and remedial services and instructional materials and equipment provided for the benefit of nonpublic school pupils pursuant to this section and the admission of pupils to such nonpublic schools shall be provided without distinction as to race, creed, color, or national origin of such pupils or of their teachers."
See also 417 F.Supp. 1113, 1116.
"However, since church-related schools in Ohio have a religious mission and intend to retain it, we urge that the constitutionality of the Ohio program be upheld because it provides secular, neutral and nonideological assistance rather than because the schools do not fit a standard religious profile." Id., at 13-14.
The institutions aided under the Ohio statute are elementary and secondary schools. The Court said in Lemon:
"This process of inculcating religious doctrine is, of course, enhanced by the impressionable age of the pupils, in primary schools particularly." 403 U. S., at 616.
See also Tilton v. Richardson, 403 U.S. 672, 684-689 (plurality opinion); Roemer v. Maryland Public Works Bd., 426 U.S. 736, 764-765 (1976).
"No school district shall provide services, materials, or equipment for use in religious courses, devotional exercises, religious training, or any other religious activity."
"No financial aid is involved in Ohio. The tests themselves are provided." Brief for State Appellees 8.
As summarized by the private appellees:
"The new Ohio Act has nothing to do with teacher-prepared tests. It does not reimburse schools for costs incurred in testing. No money flows to the nonpublic school or parent. It simply permits the local public school districts to send the standardized achievement test to the nonpublic schools and to arrange for the grading of those tests by the commercial publishing organizations which prepare and grade standardized achievement tests." Brief for Appellees Grit et al. 53.
Further, the statute approves expenditures only for "such standardized tests and scoring services as are in use in the public schools of the state." We read this to mean that the school districts may not expend more per pupil in providing standardized testing to the nonpublic schools than they expend in providing such testing in the public schools.
"We cannot ignore the substantial risk that these examinations, prepared by teachers under the authority of religious institutions, will be drafted with an eye, unconsciously or otherwise, to inculcate students in the religious precepts of the sponsoring church. We do not `assume that teachers in parochial schools will be guilty of bad faith or any conscious design to evade the limitations imposed by the statute and the First Amendment.' Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U. S., at 618. But the potential for conflict `inheres in the situation,' and because of that the State is constitutionally compelled to assure that the state-supported activity is not being used for religious indoctrination. See id., at 617, 619. Since the State has failed to do so here, we are left with no choice under Nyquist but to hold that Chapter 138 constitutes an impermissible aid to religion; this is so because the aid that will be devoted to secular functions is not identifiable and separable from aid to sectarian activities." Levitt, 413 U. S., at 480.
The New York system at issue in Levitt provided funding for both teacher-prepared and standardized testing. The Court did not reach any issue regarding the standardized testing, for it found its funding inseparable from the unconstitutional funding of teacher-prepared testing. Id., at 481.
"No school district shall provide health or remedial services to nonpublic school pupils as authorized by this section unless such services are available to pupils attending the public schools within the district."
We understand this restriction to impose a quantitative as well as a qualitative limit on the aid to nonpublic schools for health and remedial services.
"(E) To provide physician, nursing, dental, and optometric services to pupils attending nonpublic schools within the district. Such services shall be provided in the school attended by the nonpublic school pupil receiving the service."
"(G) To provide therapeutic psychological and speech and hearing services to pupils attending nonpublic schools within the district. Such services shall be provided in the public school, in public centers, or in mobile units located off of the nonpublic premises as determined by the state department of education. If such services are provided in the public school or in public centers, transportation to and from such facilities shall be provided by the public school district in which the nonpublic school is located.
"(H) To provide guidance and counseling services to pupils attending nonpublic schools within the district. Such services shall be provided in the public school, in public centers, or in mobile units located off of the nonpublic premises as determined by the state department of education. If such services are provided in the public school or in public centers, transportation to and from such facilities shall be provided by the public school district in which the nonpublic school is located.
"(I) To provide remedial services to pupils attending nonpublic schools within the district. Such services shall be provided in the public school, in public centers, or in mobile units located off of the nonpublic premises as determined by the state department of education. If such services are provided in the public school or in public centers, transportation to and from such facilities shall be provided by the public school district in which the nonpublic school is located.
"(K) To provide programs for the deaf, blind, emotionally disturbed, crippled, and physically handicapped children attending nonpublic schools within the district. Such services shall be provided in the public school, in public centers, or in mobile units located off of the nonpublic premises as determined by the state department of education. If such services are provided in the public school, or in public centers, transportation to and from such facilities shall be provided by the public school district in which the nonpublic school is located."
The services for the public schools must be at least equal to those offered for the nonpublic schools. See n. 9, supra.
"(B) To purchase and to loan to pupils attending nonpublic schools within the district or to their parents upon individual request, such secular, neutral and nonideological instructional materials as are in use in the public schools within the district and which are incapable of diversion to religious use and to hire clerical personnel to administer such lending program.
"(C) To purchase and to loan to pupils attending nonpublic schools within the district or to their parents, upon individual request, such secular, neutral and nonideological instructional equipment as is in use in the public school within the district and which is incapable of diversion to religious use and to hire clerical personnel to administer such lending program."
"In Everson, the Court found the bus fare program analogous to the provision of services such as police and fire protection, sewage disposal, highways, and sidewalks for parochial schools. 330 U. S., at 17-18. Such services, provided in common to all citizens, are `so separate and so indisputably marked off from the religious function,' id., at 18, that they may fairly be viewed as reflections of a neutral posture toward religious institutions. Allen is founded upon a similar principle. The Court there repeatedly emphasized that upon the record in that case there was no indication that textbooks would be provided for anything other than purely secular courses." 413 U. S., at 781-782.
Board of Education v. Allen has remained law, and we now follow as a matter of stare decisis the principle that restriction of textbooks to those provided the public schools is sufficient to ensure that the books will not be used for religious purposes. In more recent cases, however, we have declined to extend that presumption of neutrality to other items in the lower school setting. See Meek, 421 U. S., at 362-366; Levitt, 413 U. S., at 481-482. Compare Nyquist, 413 U. S., at 774-780, with Tilton v. Richardson, 403 U.S. 672 (1971). It has been argued that the Court should extend Allen to cover all items similar to textbooks. See Meek, 421 U. S., at 385 (BURGER, C. J., concurring in judgment in part and dissenting in part); id., at 390-391 (REHNQUIST, J., concurring in judgment in part and dissenting in part). When faced, however, with a choice between extension of the unique presumption created in Allen and continued adherence to the principles announced in our subsequent cases, we choose the latter course.
"[I]n constitutional adjudication some steps, which when taken were thought to approach `the verge,' have become the platform for yet further steps. A certain momentum develops in constitutional theory and it can be a `downhill thrust' easily set in motion but difficult to retard or stop." Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602, 624 (1971).
The tension between Allen and Meek indicates that we must soon either remove the platform or take the plunge into new realms of state assistance to sectarian institutions.
"The very purpose of many of those schools is to provide an integrated secular and religious education; the teaching process is, to a large extent, devoted to the inculcation of religious values and belief. See Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U. S., at 616-617. Substantial aid to the educational function of such schools, accordingly, necessarily results in aid to the sectarian school enterprise as a whole. `[T]he secular education those schools provide goes hand in hand with the religious mission that is the only reason for the schools' existence. Within the institution, the two are inextricably intertwined.' Id., at 657 (opinion of BRENNAN, J.). See generally Freund, Public Aid to Parochial Schools, 82 Harv. L. Rev. 1680, 1688-1689." Meek v. Pittenger, supra, at 366.