The Michigan Constitution of 1963, Article VIII, Section 1, states the following:
"Religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good government and the
happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be
encouraged."50 In adopting this languagewhich sprang from the 1787
Northwest Ordinancethe people asserted that education is vital to our society and
that knowledge, morality, and religion are necessary elements of that education.
The very same Constitution, however, and also the U. S. Constitution, place limits on
the extent to which the government can support religious activities and organizations.
This situation has created a tension between various visions of church and state
separation and has shaped the current Michigan Constitutional provision regarding
educational options for parents and students, especially with respect to nonpublic