Oregon School Initiative, June 26, 1922


The Ku Klux Klan proposed the Compulsory Education Bill through a front organization called the Scottish Rite Masons. The bill was presented as a ballot initiative in the November 1922 election and passed with a margin of 11,821 votes from a total of 219,191 votes cast. The law was appealed with the support of the National Catholic Welfare Conference and on June 1, 1925 was overturned by the United States Supreme Court.



  • What are the main points of the initiative?
  • What does the initiative say about Catholic and private schools? Why do you think it is written in this manner and not explicitly formulated to ban private schools?
  • Could any of the exceptions to this bill be interpreted to allow education of children in a Catholic school? How?