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ERIC Number: ED477348
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Jul
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Putting Vouchers in Perspective: Thinking about School Choice after Zelman v. Simmons-Harris. Policy Brief.
Rotherham, Andrew J.
In 2002 the Supreme Court decided that tuition vouchers for private and religious schools do not violate the First Amendment's establishment clause. With "Zelman v. Simmons-Harris," the case in question, the Court put the school-choice debate back in the political arena, where it belongs, according to this position paper/policy brief. The brief postulates principles that policymakers must incorporate into any choice proposals in the wake of the "Zelman" decision. The brief points out that vouchers are only a funding mechanism, not an instructional change, and introduces two important principles: (1) Vouchers have no direct connection with teaching, curriculum, or other in-school factors that influence student learning; and (2) parents and the general public have a compelling interest in at least basic student learning. The paper goes on to present arguments in favor of accountable choice and concludes that the "Zelman" decision can serve either as another milestone in an unproductive debate over school choice or as a catalyst for rethinking choice and accountability in public education. (Contains 29 endnotes, many of which include references.) (WFA)
Progressive Policy Institute, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., S.E., Suite 400, Washington, DC 20003. Tel: 202-547-0001; Fax: 202-544-5014; Web site: For full text:
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Progressive Policy Inst., Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Establishment Clause