NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Editorial Reaction to Supreme Court Voucher Decision

June 28, 2002

The U.S. Supreme Court's 5 to 4 decision allowing public funds to be used to finance students' education at private schools -- even those with religious affiliations -- is being widely hailed by editorial writers at most of the nation's major newspapers.

Here is a brief sampling of some of that comment:

  • The Wall Street Journal called the decision "the greatest blow for equal public education since Brown v. Board of Education in 1954," and added that it "removes one of the last excuses liberals, unions and the bureaucracy have used for refusing even to try" to solve the problem of failing urban public schools.
  • The Washington Post editorialized that "the Supreme Court's conservative majority rightly created wiggle room for states, localities and potentially even Congress to try carefully designed voucher programs" and pointed out "how much competition might be generated, and with what respect poor parents might be treated, if they were given an $8,000 voucher for each child, and public schools really had to prove they were worth what society now spends on them."
  • "Vouchers can and should be a part of a comprehensive school- reform plan that focuses most of its efforts on improving public schools," editorialists at USA Today wrote.
  • Investor's Business Daily expected "a full-on assault from voucher opponents, bitter over their court loss and fast losing ground" -- and suggested that the tactic used will be to "shift to accusations that vouchers are a sneaky way to kill public schools."

And then there was the New York Times.

It warned the ruling "does as much damage to education as it does to the First Amendment" -- adding the argument that voucher programs "siphon off public dollars, leaving struggling urban systems with less money for skilled teachers, textbooks and computers."

Sources: All editorials appeared on June 28, 2002.

For text USA Today


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