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Supreme Court Issues Landmark Ruling In Favor of School Choice
[Candidate comment: The 'valid secular purpose' is to provide liberty and a publicly funded K-12 education to ALL children REGARDLESS of their economic status or the quality of their public school. To discriminate against any child because of who their parents are, or to discriminate against the taxpaying parents because they are not 'poor' is to make a mockery of School Choice. If this is the judicial catch-22 for the vast number of American parents and students who want a non-government school education, then this ruling is just more of the same assault upon hard working American families. If this is indeed a 'legal discrimination' based upon income, it will not stand.]The victory for choice supporters will have a striking legal, practical, and psychological impact. The likely legal effect of the ruling will be a shift in the type of challenges that are brought, from desperate arguments to despicable ones. Opponents of choice will no longer be able to bring a federal constitutional challenge to similar choice programs in good faith, although these opponents are expected to shift their legal tactics to rely on many state statutes and constitutional provisions that themselves are an outgrowth of historical religious bigotry. These new challenges should also fail, in part because the state provisions (e.g., Blaine Amendments) are invalid under the First Amendment.
The more dramatic and immediate effect of the victory today will be its practical and psychological boost for the choice movement. Already, there are 10 states that have publicly sponsored private school choice programs, from vouchers to tax credits. With a green light from the high court, the possibilities for new programs are endless. While the hard work of creating new programs remains, the door is open to legislators to extend school choice to families seeking a better education for their children. For the over 50 percent of all poor children scoring below the grade level on our national tests, it is imperative that legislators act on their behalf. For the families of the 4,000 children in the Cleveland program, the impact of today's decision is clear: They can return to their schools this fall.
Today's Opinions should soon be available at the following sites: http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/01slipopinion.html http://supct.law.cornell.edu/supct/supct.June.2002.html
For more information call, (202) 675-1761, and contact Krista Kafer, Senior Policy analyst for Education, Todd Gaziano, Senior Fellow in Legal Studies, or Education Fellow Megan Farnsworth.
Voucher Victory: A Voice for Choice
by Fritz S. Steiger, President, Children First America
The U.S. Supreme Court today upheld the constitutionality of Cleveland's school voucher program in a 5-4 decision delivered by Chief Justice William Renquist. The majority decision was emphatically favorable to the program. The decision represents a lifesaver for thousands of parents in Cleveland, Milwaukee and Florida who are already using vouchers to send their children to the school they have chosen as best for their needs.
Supreme Court Upholds School Voucher Program
By James Vicini
A closely divided Supreme Court upheld Thursday the use of public money to send disadvantaged students to religious schools, a victory for President Bush and other advocates of tuition voucher programs.
Supreme Victory for School Choice
Institute for Justice
School Choice key issue page & Issues 2002: Education
The Heritage Foundation
Friedman Foundation Resources
New research reveals century-old voucher programs in Maine and Vermont result in better academic achievement and significant savings for taxpayers (More). The Heartland Institute's School Choice Issue Suite
School Choice Expert Contact Information
Joseph L. Bast, President,The Heartland Institute,19 South LaSalle, Suite 903 Chicago, IL 60603 Phone: 312-377-4000 www.heartland.org
Matt Brouillette, President, The Commonwealth Foundation, 3544 North Progress Avenue Suite 102 Harrisburg, PA 17110 Phone: (717) 671-1901 http://www.commonwealthfoundation.org/
Milton & Rose D. Friedman Foundation, P.O. Box 82078 One American Square, Suite 2440 Indianapolis, IN 46282 Phone: (317) 681-0745 Fax: (317) 681-0945 www.friedmanfoundation.org
Howard Fuller, Director, Institute for the Transformation of Learning Marquette UniversitySchool of Education Milwaukee, WI 53201 Phone: 414-288-5775
Robert Holland, Lexington Institute,1655 North Fort Myer Drive, Suite 325 Arlington, VA 22209 Phone: 703-522-5828 http://www.lexingtoninstitute.org/
Lance Izumi, Co-Director, Center for School Reform Pacific Research Institute,1414 K Street, Suite 200Sacramento, CA 95814 Phone: 916-448-1926 http://www.pacificresearch.org/
Andrew T. LeFevre, American Legislative Exchange Council, 910 17th Street, NW, 5th Floor Washington, DC 20006 Phone: (202) 466-3800 www.alec.org
Susan Mitchell, President, The American Education Reform Foundation, 2025 North Summit, Suite 103 Milwaukee, WI 53202 Phone: 414-319-9160
Dick Komer, Senior Litigation Attorney, Institute for Justice, 1717 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 200 Washington, DC 20006 Phone: (202) 955-1300 Fax: (202) 955-1329 Web site: www.ij.org
Lawrence C. Patrick, President, Black Alliance for Educational Options, 501 C Street, NE, Suite 3, Washington, DC 20002 Phone: 202-544-9870 Web site: www.baeo.org www.schoolchoiceinfo.org
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