Author: John E. Coons

How will choice affect inner-city public schools?

In any ample, subsidized program of parental choice, the student population of public schools in the inner-city will diminish. What, then, will be the effect upon the education in those schools for children whose parents, though now empowered, choose for them to stay put? And second, what eventually will be[Read More…]

Is this dawn?

I wonder how many registered Republicans and Democrats agree with all, or even most, of their own party’s declared positions on today’s critical civic issues. Many Democrats are Catholics; more than a few seem to share the unease of their bishops at President Biden’s apparent comfort with unregulated abortion. And[Read More…]

Choice smeared: Union bunk versus reality

In 1978, Stephen D. Sugarman and I published our third book on school finance, “Education Choice: the Case for Family Control.” That summer, we designed a constitutional initiative for parental choice to be voted on by California citizens; we announced our hope for support to get it on the 1979[Read More…]

Just another argument for education choice

The late, great Marilyn mothered our five children. As they accumulated over the span of eight years, she retired from teaching in her public elementary school but never lost her esteem for the profession. Three of our children collectively have invested more than 40 years in the classroom, more than[Read More…]

A letter to President Joe Biden

Dear President Biden, I am an ancient Berkeley law professor, long absent from the classroom but still scribbling, mostly about the schooling of children. My enduring hope for this country is the ever-delayed empowerment of not-so-rich parents to be trusted – like the rest of us – to choose the[Read More…]

Give us your poor

“It’s the poor wot gets the blame.” — Anonymous There seems a fairly common conviction among us that many, even most, of our lower-income parents, for various reasons, fall below the level of responsibility necessary to decide which school is best for their child. That belief, though slowly receding, seems[Read More…]

Playing the prophet for choice

“The wisest prophets make sure of the event first.” — Letter to Thos. Walpole, Horace Walpole Such good advice notwithstanding, let us assume that the state of Montucky adopts an across-the-board system of school choice – vouchers of substantial amount for all. Participating schools, public and private, are free to[Read More…]