Thursday, July 13, 2017

OPINION: Has new public funding for a church playground emboldened parochial schools seeking vouchers? - The Hechinger Report

OPINION: Has new public funding for a church playground emboldened parochial schools seeking vouchers? - The Hechinger Report:

OPINION: Has new public funding for a church playground emboldened parochial schools seeking vouchers?

What may buoy Catholic schools plagued by declining enrollments could pose concerns for our larger democracy

Image result for big education ape public taxpayer dollars to religious schools,


On the heels of a significant late June Supreme Court ruling that seemingly opens the doors for increased funneling of public taxpayer dollars to religious schools, parochial school leaders are urging leaders of the Trump administration as well as state lawmakers across the country to expand school voucher programs.
“School choice,” an umbrella term used to cover private school vouchers as well as other alternatives to traditionally designated public schools, seems to be a new slogan for our land of freedom.
Within each proposal, advocates of school choice emphasize the ability of individuals to use the market to exercise their personal liberty in unrestrained ways. On the face of it, “choice,” the “freedom to choose,” and “religious freedom” are welcomed in democracy.  But let’s take a closer look at what we might risk by invoking such freedom when it comes to education: public goods, concern for the well-being of all students, and democratic decision making.
What may buoy Catholic schools plagued by declining enrollments and rising costs in their schools, may pose significant concerns for our larger democracy.
Freedom, as celebrated by many school choice proponents and their neoclassical economic influencers, is mostly aligned with Friedrich Hayek’s definition in The Constitution of Liberty as freedom in a negative sense—the absence of coercion. Hayek adds that freedom should be a value celebrated unto itself, without taking into consideration whether the results of an individual’s pursuit of freedom will be harmful or beneficial to others. The freedom invoked is sought independently of the public good, including the political and social purposes that compose it. Indeed, the public sector is seen as necessarily restrictive of private liberty and the marketplace is OPINION: Has new public funding for a church playground emboldened parochial schools seeking vouchers? - The Hechinger Report:
 Image result for big education ape vouchers

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