THE QUESTION of services for non-public school pupils at public expense, the office of the Connecticut Attorney General had ruled in 1952, was one to be considered locally. The report prepared by the State Department of Education in early 1956 showed that a substantial number of towns were providing such services. This report was a statement of practices and statistics; it did not include any information about the conflicts that arose in some towns over the question of providing services.
In the year preceding the 1957 legislative struggle over services for non-public school pupils, a number of towns in Connecticut were faced with the problem of beginning or continuing to provide services. The disputes over that question in four such towns are recounted in this chapter. Two of those towns were asked to begin providing transportation. One town (actually a city) had to decide whether to continue providing transportation after a school board decision that there was no legal authority to do so. One town was faced with the problem of assuming financial responsibility for the dental hygiene services provided to local parochial school pupils.
As presented here, with fictitious names for the municipalities and the participants, these case histories are intended to illuminate the nature of the conflicts about this issue and the methods used