Author: Stephen D. Sugarman

Too soon to gauge sweep of Indiana school voucher ruling

In 2002, in the Zelman case, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Cleveland school voucher program against a claim that the plan violates the “establishment clause” of the First Amendment to our national constitution. Simply put, the closely divided court concluded the Cleveland plan is part of a broader school[Read More…]

A closer look at Marco Rubio’s proposal for federal tax credit scholarships

Eleven states currently offer tax credits to specified taxpayers who make contributions to tax-exempt non-profit organizations that in turn use those contributions to fund scholarships for qualifying, financially-needy, elementary and/or secondary school students attending private schools. This fairly recent development is currently empowering perhaps 150,000 lower-income families, who generally are[Read More…]

The daunting details of Romney’s school choice plan

Gov. Romney gave a speech last month to a Hispanic audience calling for more school choice for parents. He promised, if elected president, to provide all children from low-income families and all special needs children with choice in a broad range of public and (where legal) private schools. This is a promise[Read More…]

Low-income parents vs. teachers unions on teacher layoff policies

Editor’s note: High-poverty schools and low-income families are hurt the most by last-in-first-out layoff policies for teachers. In Los Angeles, groups representing low-income parents filed suit against the practice – and so far, they’re winning. Berkeley law professor and redefinED host Stephen D. Sugarman writes in this post that low-income parents have[Read More…]

From charters to vouchers — the next evolution for liberal Democrats

About two million American children now attend more than 5,000 charter schools nationwide. Although it is likely to take some time for charter schools to be the educators of even 10 percent of our children, they are heading in that direction and appear to have become an entrenched feature of our[Read More…]

Too many liberals are on the wrong side of the school choice debate

We liberals see our public schools as the centerpiece of America’s “melting pot” society. Religiously divisive societies like Northern Ireland and Lebanon worry us. Teachers unions are generally applauded as providing needed job protection for committed professionals who are helping to shape the lives of our children. These beliefs combine[Read More…]