In considering any problem, and in particular that of federal aid to education, one’s convictions must be based on principle rather than on expediency. Such convictions are especially needed in this day when the national government is encroaching in areas that historically and legally have belonged to the states or to private citizens. While I write as president of a Christian college, my argument against federal aid for Christian education is based on broad principles that apply to all private higher education, secular as well as religious, and also to primary and secondary education, both public and private.
“Federal aid” is a political euphemism for funds taken in taxes from the people and, after an appreciable diminution through the multiplicity of departments, returned to the states and various agencies. Aid is not new wealth; it is our money, handled and directed by government officials for purposes determined by themselves.
Our discussion of federal aid to education does not include the service academies, ROTC, the distribution of surplus property, and student aid programs such as the GI Bill and the loan programs established by the National Defense Acts of 1958. By the same token, government research projects are not included in the concept of federal aid to education. Federal support of research projects constitutes the government’s purchasing the abilities and facilities of the universities to do research for the fewest dollars possible. (Subsidy of scientific research is, however, an illusory “aid” to education, because of its diversionary effect upon research and scholarship and because of its tendency to draw able teacher-scholars into government research projects.)
Educational costs are mounting, but is federal ...1
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