Business Case Analysis and Comparison Research Proposal

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Business

Case Analysis & Comparison

In the case of Aguilar v. Felton, 473 U.S. 402 (1985), the appellants were seeking review of the judgment from the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which held that a program ran by appellants under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, 20 U.S.C.S. § 2701 et seq., violated the appellees' rights under U.S. Const. amend. I.

The appellees were taxpayers who sought to direct the distribution of federal funds to pay the salaries of public employees who taught in parochial schools. The funds were distributed under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (Title I), 20 U.S.C.S. § 2701 et seq. Title I provided financial assistance to fund programs to meet the needs of educationally deprived children from low income families. Appellants argued that the program was distinct from the parochial schools and that church and state were indeed separate as mandated by the Establishment Clause of U.S. Const. amend. I. The court held that, despite the efforts taken, the program remained constitutionally flawed. There was an excessive mixing of church and state in the administration of benefits provided under Title I. The court affirmed the circuit court's holding in favor of appellees (Aguilar v. Felton, 473 U.S. 402, 1985).

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The Court affirmed the circuit court's holding in favor of appellees that the program that the appellants were running which provided federal funds to public employees who taught in parochial schools was unconstitutional because the program was an excessive entanglement of church and state in the administration of benefits. This ruling established the idea that excessive mixing of church and state in the education arena was a definite violation of the Establishment Clause and thus was unconstitutional (Aguilar v. Felton, 473 U.S. 402, 1985).

Research Proposal on Business Case Analysis & Comparison in the Assignment

Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 gave local institutions the authority to receive funds to assist educationally deprived children from low-income families. The city of New York often used portions of its Title I funding to pay salaries of employees who taught in parochial schools. Even though the Court acknowledged that the efforts of the City of New York were well-intentioned, it determined that the funding practices that they were using violated the Constitution. Teachers involved in this program were directed to avoid involvement in religious materials and activities in their classrooms. This along with the actions of school administrators and field supervisors, who monitored classroom activities for religious content, posed constitutional problems for the Court. Involving agents of the city in extensive monitoring increased the potential for the crossing of religious lines and violated the intent of the Establishment Clause which was established to prevent the intrusion of church and state on each other's respective domain (the Oyez Project, Aguilar v. Felton, 473 U.S. 402 (1985), 2009).

The basic underlying issue that this case deals with is that of the idea of the separation of church and state that was established under the Establishment Clause of U.S. Const. amend. I. "The Supreme Court's first, and most comprehensive, statement about the meaning of the establishment clause is found in Justice Black's majority opinion in Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 855 (1947)"(Allison, n.d.). In brief, Everson concerned a New Jersey statute that subsidized transportation for students attending private religious schools. While the Court upheld the statute, it rejected the narrow reading of the establishment clause in favor of a broadly separationist reading. Out of this case emerged the idea that the establishment of religion clause of the First Amendment meant that:

Neither a state nor the Federal Government is allowed to set up a church.

Neither can pass laws which help one religion or all religions, nor can they prefer one religion over another.

Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to stay away from church.

No person can be punished for establishing religious beliefs or disbeliefs or for going to church or not going.

No tax in any amount can be imposed to support any religious activities or institutions.

Neither a state nor the Federal Government can participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups.

It is thought that this clause against the establishment of religion by law was intended to erect a wall of separation between church and State (Allison, n.d.).

Since 1966, New York City has provided instructional services funded by Title I to parochial school students on the premises of parochial schools. Of those students eligible to receive funds in 1981-1982, 13.2% were enrolled in private schools. Of that group, 84% were enrolled in schools affiliated with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York and the Diocese of Brooklyn and 8% were enrolled in Hebrew day schools. The Court of Appeals concluded that due to this fact a system in which religious considerations play a key role in the selection of students and teachers, and which has as its substantial purpose the inculcation of religious values had been established (Aguilar v. Felton, 473 U.S. 402, 1985).

The idea that the state should not become too closely entangled with the church in the administration of assistance is rooted in two concerns. When the state becomes entangled with a given denomination in matters of religious significance, the freedom of religious belief f those who are not adherents of that denomination suffers, even when the governmental purpose underlying the involvement is largely secular. In addition, the freedom of even the adherents of the denomination is limited by the governmental intrusion into sacred matters (Aguilar v. Felton, 473 U.S. 402, 1985).

This wall of separation has been a hotly debated topic for many years. Trying to figure out exactly was meant by these rulings and how it apply to everyone's particular situation at hand has been difficult to do. The Court's ruling in Aguilar v. Felton, which held that the Establishment Clause as applied in this case allowed the use of government funds for transportation to religious schools. And even though this ruling had four dissents, it set the rule, at least until 1997.

In the case of Agostini v. Felton, 521 U.S. 203 (1997), Petitioners sought review of the judgment of the United States Court of Appeals for Second Circuit that denied the petitioners' request for relief from a permanent injunction issued pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(5).

This action arose from a case in which U.S. Supreme Court held that the Establishment Clause, U.S. Const. amendment I, barred a city from sending public school teachers into parochial schools to provide education to disadvantaged children pursuant to a congressionally mandated program. On remand, the district court entered a permanent injunction reflecting the ruling. Twelve years later, petitioners sought relief from its operation as a result of intervening Establishment Clause jurisprudence. The Court overruled its prior decision holding that a federally funded program providing instruction to disadvantaged children on a neutral basis was valid under the Establishment Clause when such instruction was given on the premises of sectarian schools by government employees pursuant to a program containing safeguards such as those present in this case (Agostini v. Felton, 521 U.S. 203, 1997).

The judgment of the court of appeals denying petitioners' request for relief from a permanent injunction was reversed and petitioners' request was granted because the court overruled the previous decision in petitioners' case. With respect to a Federal District Court's permanent injunction which barred a city from sending public school teachers into parochial schools to provide remedial education to disadvantaged children pursuant to Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 USCS 6301 et seq.), the parties bound by the injunction are entitled to relief, under Rule 60(b)(5) of the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure, from the operation of the injunction, where the Supreme Court held in Aguilar that the city's program violated the establishment of religion clause of the Federal Constitution's First Amendment and the Supreme Court concluded in the case at hand that the program did not violate the establishment of religion clause under current law (Agostini v. Felton, 521 U.S. 203, 1997).

There have been very few issues that have proved to be more troublesome for the modern Supreme Court than the relationship between church and state. In 1985 the Court had reached a high water mark in its efforts to drive a clear constitutional wedge between the two. In a 5 to 4 majority the justices in Aguilar v. Felton and in the case of School District of Grand Rapids v. Ball (1985) gave a new understanding to Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Action of 1965. Title I provides federal funds to public schools for remedial reading and math instruction to children who come from poor families without regard to the school that they attended (U.S. Supreme Court: Agostini v. Felton, 2009).

The Supreme Court in Aguilar decided that the presence of public school teachers in parochial schools amounted to an unconstitutional entanglement of… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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