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…]

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…]

The powers that be

It’s the same the whole word over, It’s the poor wot gets the blame, It’s the rich wot gets the pleasure, Ain’t it all a blooming shame. — Anonymous Little Susie doesn’t enroll in a particular kindergarten because that is her personal choice among schools; when she is a bit[Read More…]

A campus of choices

Multitudes in the valley of decision Old Testament, Book of Joel Suppose that the legislature and governor of your state agree that some legal mechanism must be adopted to empower lower-income families to exercise their constitutional right to choose the specific school – public or private – they deem best[Read More…]