Educational vouchers, also known as scholarships, redirect the flow of education funding, channeling it directly to individual families rather than to school districts. This allows families to select the public or private schools of their choice and have all or part of the tuition paid. These vouchers are funded by either public (government) or private (corporations, foundations) funds. Scholarships are advocated on the grounds that parental choice and competition between public and private schools will improve education for all children (www.schoolchoices.org).
Publicly-funded education vouchers allow families to make private decisions regarding how public taxpayer money should be spent. Therefore, a voucher program hopes to create an educational market where schools must compete for students. Supporters claim market benefits, such as choice and innovation, will improve education. Opponents, on the other hand, say that vouchers will lead to greater inequality and the loss of civic preparation. Current evidence concerning the impact of vouchers is disputed (IBID.).
The Zelman versus Simmons-Harris court case that ended on June 22, 2002, is probably one of the most monumental court cases to date on this subject. The United States Supreme Court upheld a Cleveland, Ohio school voucher program by a 5-4 vote. Judges Rehnquist, O’Connor, Kennedy, Scalia, and Thomas were for the decision (www.law.umkc.edu). This case was the latest in a long series of Supreme Court decisions that eroded constitutional requirements for school voucher programs.
In order to comply with these constitutional requirements, a constitutional voucher program must take many actions. The prog...
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...oney to afford a better school. If the administrators continue to allow this, we are denying our children’s’ rights to a good, quality education. School vouchers are something that can guarantee a parent the right to send the student to any school that would best fit his learning style and values. Voucher programs are perhaps the most effective way to help low-income families become active consumers in the educational marketplace, helping them gain control over their children’s education and encouraging them to become more involved. Educational vouchers are a way of putting the student first…which should be the main goal of educational personnel everywhere. By implementing an educational voucher program, schools will better themselves and students across the nation will reap in the benefits.
“Case Analysis.” Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. www.au.org
“Education Vouchers.” www.ncspe.org .
“School Choices.” www.schoolchoices.org/roo/vouchers.htm .
“So You Wanna Learn About School Vouchers?” www.soyouwanna.com/site/pros_cons/vouchers.html
“Zelman v. Simmons-Harris.” www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/zelman.html .
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