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School Vouchers: Parents Need a Choice Essay

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The 14th Amendment in the United States Constitution forbids states from denying any person life, liberty and property without due process of the law. It further states that any person, within a state’s jurisdiction, cannot be denied equal protection of its laws. This amendment protects all people.
Chief Justice Clarence Thomas, in a 2002 ruling, stated reasons why school choice should be protected under the 14th Amendment. Justice Thomas wrote in defense of school choice, “Whatever the textual and historical merits of incorporating the Establishment Clause, I can accept that the Fourteenth Amendment protects religious liberty rights. But I cannot accept its use to oppose neutral programs of school choice through the incorporation of the Establishment Clause. There would be a tragic irony in converting the Fourteenth Amendment's guarantee of individual liberty into a prohibition on the exercise of educational choice.” His ruling goes on to state,
Respondents advocate using the Fourteenth Amendment to handcuff the State's ability to experiment with education. But without education one can hardly exercise the civic, political, and personal freedoms conferred by the Fourteenth Amendment. Faced with a severe educational crisis, the State of Ohio enacted wide-ranging educational reform that allows voluntary participation of private and religious schools in educating poor urban children otherwise condemned to failing public schools. The program does not force any individual to submit to religious indoctrination or education. It simply gives parents a greater choice as to where and in what manner to educate their children. This is a choice that whose with greater means have routinely exercised. The State has a constitutional r...


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...her, L., Schimmel, D. and Stellman, L. (2007). Teachers and the Law. 7th ed. Boston: Pearson Education. P186-187.

Kintisch, B.,Zelno, S.. (2002). Vouchers (SB 1) and the Law. Available: www.elc-pa.org. Last accessed 16th Mar 2011.

Smith, G. (2010). Education Vouchers Gain Ground. Available: http://www.thestate.com/2010/11/21/1570848/school-choice-gains-ground.html. Last accessed 16th Mar 2011.

Speel, R. (2011). Education vouchers would violate constitution. Available: http://www.pennlive.com/editorials/index.ssf/2011/02/education_vouchers_would_viola.html.

The Center for Education Reform. (2011). Choice Options State by State. Available: http://www.edreform.com/printer_FVersion.cfm. Last accessed 16th Mar 2011.

WestEd. (1999). What we know about vouchers the facts behind the rhetoric. Available: http://www.WestEd.org. Last accessed 16th Mar 2011.



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