Author: John E. Coons

Dedicated to the proposition

“Matters of fact … are very stubborn things.” Tindal, Will of Matthew Tindal My Catholic elementary school in Duluth, Minnesota, shared a boundary line with a large public school, East Junior High. In seventh and eighth grades, we kids from Rosary would be sent across that border once a week,[Read More…]

Jack Coons: Childhood responsibility and freedom

Webster defines the adjectives “free” and “responsible” as follows: Free: Acting of one’s own will or choice and not under compulsion or restraint; determining one’s own action or choice. Responsible: Having a capacity for moral decisions and therefore accountable. These two words, together, declare the status of every rational human[Read More…]

In memory of a champion of school choice for lower-income parents

Stephen Dwight Sugarman died the day after Christmas, interrupting almost 60 years of our friendship and collaboration on this planet. His unique character, personality, and family life I will save for another occasion. Here, I will briefly remember his impact on school choice, law school – and myself. We met[Read More…]

Hope for our young kin?

Jim and Alice have three children and a modest income. Should their income status justify our forcing these kids into their local assigned public school? Are such parents unqualified to choose a school for their own? After all, it is their federal constitutional right to do so. No doubt some[Read More…]

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…]