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Roof repair and the Constitution. If the federal government helps pay for repairing the roof on a parochial school, is this a violation of the US Constitution?

It certainly would seem to be, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU), whose legal committee is now studying a federal grant program to see if it is in conflict with the First Amendment's church-state separation provisions. If they find it is, a court challenge is almost certain.

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AU notes that over $18 million is spent on construction and repair projects at parochial and private schools under appropriations from the National Energy Conservation Policy Act. Recipients include individual churches and parishes, convents, monasteries, dioceses, and other religious institutions that operate schools.

Among the projects underwritten in addition to roofs are insulation, solar heating systems, furnace repairs, and storm windows.m

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