ERIC Number: ED433576
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Shall Public Funds Be Used To Directly Support Religious Schools? The Chittenden, Vermont Case.
Mathis, William J.; Merriam, Karen E.
This paper examines the increased activity in Vermont among proponents of educational vouchers for religious schools. It focuses on the "Chittenden" case, in which parents sued for tuition support to pay for their children's education at a local Roman Catholic high school. The report describes how the Roman Catholic Church and various political groups are calling for public monies to be used for funding religious education. Proponents of religious vouchers argue that education is a private good whose control is strictly in the hands of parents and students. Those opposed to religious vouchers ultimately rely on the First Amendment's establishment clause and, in Vermont's case, the state constitution, which prohibits the forced support of a religion. Opponents argue that the various cases that allow limited public funds, such as for special education, were for narrow purposes and the effect was not supportive of religion. The article looks at the arguments presented to the Vermont Supreme Court and the various issues presented by both sides of the religious voucher debate. It concludes that the broader issue becomes whether the state and the nation should continue to have "common schools", and it questions an educational system that is fragmented along religious, social, economic, and racial lines. (Contains 14 references.) (RJM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Vermont