NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Finding A Way In Cleveland

August 27, 1999

Not to be defeated, school voucher supporters in Cleveland, Ohio, are going ahead with plans to educate voucher-holding children in private and parochial schools. Their plans had been imperiled by the decision of a federal judge -- issued one day before the beginning of school -- to put voucher use on hold until its constitutionality could be determined.

  • A survey by the Cleveland Plain Dealer turned up only two out of nearly 4,000 voucher students whose parents had switched plans and decided to enroll their children in public schools.
  • The Catholic Diocese of Cleveland -- which serves half of the voucher population -- told parents they were welcome to continue sending their children to parochial schools.
  • "Business as usual," the principal of Westside Baptist Christian School reassured the parents of 46 voucher students.
  • Ted Forstmann and John Walton, co-chairmen of the Children's Scholarship Fund -- which funds education for 40,000 poor students nationwide -- said that if asked they would "partner with local communities to make sure that every one of the 4,000 children is able to go to the school of their choice."

The majority of voucher students in Cleveland are black and members of families living at or below the poverty line. Observers say that at public meetings, parents are livid at the judge's decision -- which has spawned a genuine grassroots revolution in favor of school choice.

Source: Editorial, "Children's Crusade," Wall Street Journal, August 27, 1999.

 

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