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Church Wins Bus Leasing Case

Court rules in favor of church seeking to rent public school buses for educational event.

Key point. A state law authorizing public school buses to be leased by nonprofit community groups for educational purposes cannot be construed to exclude a church solely because of the religious content of its educational program.

A New York court ruled that churches could lease public school buses under a state law making such vehicles available to nonprofit community groups for educational purposes. The New York legislature enacted a law permitting local school districts to lease public school buses to "any not—for—profit organization … which provides education" when the vehicles were not needed for transporting children to school. A church conducted an educational program that included (but was not limited to) religious education under a state law that permitted public school students to be released from school to attend religious instruction off of school premises. ...

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Posted:
  • March 1, 1996

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