Friday, June 10, 2005

Educational Choice Progress

I strongly believe in educational choice. There are many forms of such systems, all better than not having any choice. Vouchers are a great equalizer for the poor, but unions and the left fights anything that really helps poor people, especially when it places on them the opportunity to choose a better way.

Milton Friedman details the history of educational choice, which he helped start. The system is working in several areas of the country. Cleveland's choice program barely made it by the United States' Supreme Court, but it did. State constitutions and surpeme courts may be an even tougher sale.

Florida's school choice program, limited to students in repeat failing schools, is currently before its state supreme court.
The program allows students attending failing schools to go to a private school
at taxpayer expense. More than 700 students statewide, most of them either black
or Hispanic, receive these type of vouchers.

Sounds awful, doesn't it. All those poor, minority children getting out of failing schools and going somewhere of their own choosing.

These programs are innovative and being passed in the legislature. In other words, expect the Courts to have none of it. Changes in public policy should only come from courts -- not legislatures.


At 5:11 AM, Blogger Jehane said...

What *exactly* does the state constitution say on the matter?

The article declines to inform us.


At 4:37 PM, Blogger Makrothumeo said...

You're welcome...I was sitting there with $5 million or so and thought, "Hey wait, I can buy out KJ"...happy spending!

At 8:07 AM, Blogger KJ said...


Lots of state constitutions have a provision that provides, essentially, that no government money may be used to assist parochial schools in any way. These amendments have a sorrid history, growing primarily out of Catholic prejudice. Which is essentially how we got public schools as well. The protestant majority did not want to pay to educate their kids, which the Catholics were already doing on their own dime, so they made the government (including Catholics) pay for it, then they put in amendments to keep any money from helping the Catholics out in something that they were already doing.

These are called "Blaine Amendments." They are the next great hurdle for school choice programs, and are summarized here:

A good blogger (like you) would have included this stuff in a comprehensive post. I am not that good blogger.

At 11:31 AM, Blogger Jehane said...

I wasn't bagging on you KJ :) I was referring to the newspaper article. How can one possibly evaluate the story without that context? It seems essential in order to know which side is being reasonable.

This is why I get so aggravated with the media.

At 11:48 AM, Blogger KJ said...

I know you were talking about the news story. I was just saying, a good blogger would have already covered it. I'm a hack. That is why you are the Official Blog Princess of The Cheese.


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