President Bush's proposal to provide financial aid to parents who send their children to private schools came under attack Tuesday from Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and a Jewish leader.

"The administration's proposal goes overboard on choice," Kennedy, D-Mass., said in remarks prepared for a hearing by the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee, which he chairs."By offering public dollars to private schools, including religious schools, the administration is reopening the bitter and divisive policy and constitutional debates of the past about public aid to private schools."

Henry Siegman, executive director of the American Jewish Congress, stressed that the "administration is essentially coercing all citizens to pay for the religious education desired by only a few."