In this important new volume, distinguished legal and public policy scholars address issues that are critical to the successful drafting and implementation of school choice programs, yet are usually overlooked in the choice debate. They explore whether school choice is a threat or an opportunity to the many children who are largely deprived of choice today and they offer a variety of perspectives, with some authors enthusiastic, others more skeptical.
The book begins with a discussion of the types and extent of school choice, what is known about its consequences, and how politics has influenced its development. It then focuses on three important public policy issues: how school choice can revolutionize the way schools are financed, what policy interventions are necessary to increase the supply of choice schools, and how choice programs can be held accountable to parents and the state without undermining institutional autonomy. The book addresses legal issues, including whether public and private choice schools will be required to observe student and teacher rights generally recognized in traditional public schools, how the religion and speech clauses of the First Amendment may affect the participation of religious schools in school choice programs, whether school choice will enhance or aggravate opportunities for racial justice, what the implications of school choice are for teacher unions and collective bargaining, and whether children with disabilities will be accommodated in school choice programs under federal disability law. Throughout the book, the authors offer recommendations for public policy development.
The contributors are Jeffrey Henig, Robert Bulman and David L. Kirp, Paul T. Hill, Robert M. O'Neil, Jesse H. Choper, Betsy Levin, William G. Buss, and Laura F. Rothstein. Stephen D. Sugarman is Agnes Roddy Robb Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley.
Frank R. Kemerer is Regents Professor and director of the Center for the Study of Education Reform at the University of North Texas.