More Bad News for Vouchers

In the current issue of Education Week (June 21, 2017), Christopher Lubienski and Sarah Thule Lubienski report that mounting research suggests that students who use vouchers to attend private schools actually suffer from academic declines (not gains), especially in math (“Why School Vouchers Aren’t Working,” p. 22). School-Vouchers That news is bad enough.  Nevertheless, an additional problem with school vouchers is that they violate the doctrine of church/state separation when they are used to send students to religious schools (despite what a closely divided Supreme Court ruled in Zelman v. Simmons-Harris [2002]).  It’s irrelevant that we aren’t forcing students to attend such schools (as voucher proponents argue); rather, it’s the fact that tax dollars are being used to support a sectarian educational enterprise (regardless of whether one supports the creeds/dogmas at issue).  To put it another way, would we permit tax dollars to support a particular church even though the individuals who attended that church weren’t forced to do so?  Of course not.

 

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