THE RELATION of non-public schools to public schools was raised at a meeting of the Connecticut State Board of Education on December 7, 1955. The meeting was held at the home of the then Commissioner of Education, Dr. F. E. Engleman, in an atmosphere more relaxed than that of sessions held in the Commissioner's office. The informality disappeared, however, with the introduction of a motion by Board member Richard Joyce Smith that a study be made of the relation of public and non-public schools in the state. He made specific reference to the need for more information on the various public services provided to non-public school pupils. The sudden tension that appeared in the room was emphasized by the care with which each speaker chose his words as he commented about the subject. Everyone present seemed aware that this was a topic that could become explosive.
Mr. Smith, a lawyer and a Catholic, could discuss this issue out of years of experience connected with public education. He had served on the Fairfield Board of Education for ten years prior to his appointment to the State Board by Governor John Lodge in 1951. Although a Democrat, Mr. Smith actively supported Republican Lodge's campaign for Governor in 1950. He had served on the board