ARTICLE: THE RIGHT QUESTIONS ABOUT SCHOOL CHOICE: EDUCATION, RELIGIOUS FREEDOM, AND THE COMMON GOOD Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 2002 Yeshiva University
Cardozo Law Review

ARTICLE: THE RIGHT QUESTIONS ABOUT SCHOOL CHOICE: EDUCATION, RELIGIOUS FREEDOM, AND THE COMMON GOOD

March, 2002

23 Cardozo L. Rev. 1281

Author

Richard W. Garnett*

Excerpt



As this Essay goes to press, the Supreme Court is considering whether Ohio's school-choice program violates the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. 1 In my view, the Ohio program is sound public policy, and it is consistent with the Justices' present understanding of the Establishment Clause. 2 I also believe that the Court will and should permit this experiment, and our conversations about its merits, to continue. 3 The purpose of this Essay, though, is not to predict or evaluate ex ante the Court's decision. Instead, my primary aim is to suggest and then sketch a few broad themes that - once the decision comes down, the dust settles, and the "spin" subsides - could enrich our deliberations about school-choice proposals specifically, and also, more generally, about education, religious freedom, and democratic citizenship.

Introduction
 
Not long ago, a commentator observed that it is "getting harder every day to be an informed and compassionate opponent of vouchers." 4 After all, she noted,


 
families of means can make choices about education. They move to neighborhoods with good schools. They can send their kids to private or parochial schools. Poor parents have no such choices. If their local schools are failing, their kids are trapped. And far too many of our schools are failing: This is the challenge that demands our attention. 5
 
Arthur Levine, president of Columbia University Teachers College, agrees, though he puts the matter considerably more bluntly: "To force children into inadequate schools is to ...
 
 
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