Choice is the excuse – the actual reason the GOP pushes school vouchers is quite different


Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 (1954), was a landmark United States Supreme Court case which declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students to be unconstitutional. The decision overturned the Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896, which allowed state-sponsored segregation in public education. Handed down on May 17, 1954, the Warren Court’s unanimous (9–0) decision stated that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” As a result, de jure racial segregation was ruled a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. This ruling paved the way for integration and was a major victory of the Civil Rights Movement, and a model for many future impact litigation cases. However, the decision’s fourteen pages did not spell out any sort of method for ending racial segregation in schools, and the Court’s second decision in Brown II, 349 U.S. 294 (1955) only ordered states to desegregate “with all deliberate speed”.

The GOP strategies for appealing to their base are many – school vouchers are one of them. In their minds they are accomplishing several goals. (1) providing an alternative to public education; (2) reducing taxes (3) stimulating entrepreneurship in education (4) and undoubtedly enabling segregation.  None of these goals will increase American values, move the USA into the 21st century, or prepare students for the real world.

School vouchers will decrease social mobility, increase segregation, and result in educational decline for the masses.