The 14th Amendment in the United States Constitution forbids states from denying any person life, liberty and property without due process of the law. It further states that any person, within a state’s jurisdiction, cannot be denied equal protection of its laws. This amendment protects all people.
Chief Justice Clarence Thomas, in a 2002 ruling, stated reasons why school choice should be protected under the 14th Amendment. Justice Thomas wrote in defense of school choice, “Whatever the textual and historical merits of incorporating the Establishment Clause, I can accept that the Fourteenth Amendment protects religious liberty rights. But I cannot accept its use to oppose neutral programs of school choice through the incorporation of the Establishment Clause. There would be a tragic irony in converting the Fourteenth Amendment's guarantee of individual liberty into a prohibition on the exercise of educational choice.” His ruling goes on to state,
Respondents advocate using the Fourteenth Amendment to handcuff the State's ability to experiment with education. But without education one can hardly exercise the civic, political, and personal freedoms conferred by the Fourteenth Amendment. Faced with a severe educational crisis, the State of Ohio enacted wide-ranging educational reform that allows voluntary participation of private and religious schools in educating poor urban children otherwise condemned to failing public schools. The program does not force any individual to submit to religious indoctrination or education. It simply gives parents a greater choice as to where and in what manner to educate their children. This is a choice that whose with greater means have routinely exercised. The State has a constitutional right to experiment with a variety of different programs to promote educational opportunity (2002).
My research indicates that states are violating the citizens’ respective rights to liberty by not allowing students’ and parents’ freedom of choice in education. Having worked in various communities as an educator, for over a decade, has reinforced my professional support of state voucher systems. This critical analysis will demonstrate why voucher systems are a viable educational choice for students and parents.
School vouchers will level the educational playing field in many communities across America. Voucher systems are designed to give parents a choice when considering schools for their children. With many of our public schools considered failing, parents will receive a certificate for a predetermined amount to supplement educational costs for parochial/private schools. It is my strong opinion that school vouchers will improve education overall by allowing children to attend schools that focus on their needs socially, mentally and physically. Yet, those parents without school voucher plans will continue to be forced to send their children to schools that treat students the same. In public schools, parents...