Most Americans believe that improving our system of education should
be a top priority for government at the local, state and Federal levels.
Legislators, school boards, education professionals, parent groups and
community organizations are attempting to implement innovative ideas
to rescue children from failing school systems, particularly in inner-city
neighborhoods. Many such groups champion voucher programs. The standard
program proposed in dozens of states across the country would distribute
monetary vouchers (typically valued between $2,500-$5,000) to parents
of school-age children, usually in troubled inner-city school districts.
Parents could then use the vouchers towards the cost of tuition at private
schools -- including those dedicated to religious indoctrination.
Superficially, school vouchers might seem a relatively
benign way to increase the options poor parents have for educating their
children. In fact, vouchers pose a serious threat to values that are
vital to the health of American democracy. These programs subvert the
constitutional principle of separation of church and state and threaten
to undermine our system of public education.
Next: Constitutionally Suspect