VII-11. Appropriation of public funds; handicapped children; sectarian instruction; religious test of teacher or student.

Notwithstanding any other provision in the Constitution, appropriation of public funds shall not be made to any school or institution of learning not owned or exclusively controlled by the state or a political subdivision thereof; Provided, that the Legislature may provide that the state or any political subdivision thereof may contract with institutions not wholly owned or controlled by the state or any political subdivision to provide for educational or other services for the benefit of children under the age of twenty-one years who are handicapped, as that term is from time to time defined by the Legislature, if such services are nonsectarian in nature.

All public schools shall be free of sectarian instruction.

The state shall not accept money or property to be used for sectarian purposes; Provided, that the Legislature may provide that the state may receive money from the federal government and distribute it in accordance with the terms of any such federal grants, but no public funds of the state, any political subdivision, or any public corporation may be added thereto.

A religious test or qualification shall not be required of any teacher or student for admission or continuance in any school or institution supported in whole or in part by public funds or taxation.

Source:Neb. Const. art. VIII, sec. 11 (1875); Amended 1920, Constitutional Convention, 1919-1920, No. 23; Transferred by Constitutional Convention, 1919-1920, art. VII, sec. 11; Amended 1972, Laws 1971, LB 656, sec. 1; Amended 1976, Laws 1976, LB 666, sec. 1. Note: The third paragraph in this section has been reinstated pursuant to Cunningham v. Exon, 207 Neb. 513, 300 N.W.2d 6 (1980).