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Monday, May 11, 2015

Reason: Ban Private Schools in the Name of the Collective Good?

Consider me something of a supporter of public education especially when it works well. These days we're seeing further options for those parents who want more for their children educationally. In Chicago - of course - there are charter schools of course and there is a debate over school vouchers.

Here's hoping no one here in Chicago will take this debate this far.
Back in 1922, the Ku Klux Klan and other anti-Catholic groups spearheaded an Oregon initiative that resulted in the prohibition of all private schooling within that state. Known as the Compulsory Education Act, this law required all children between the ages of eight and 16 to attend "a public school for the period of time a public school shall be held during the current year." The Society of Sisters, a corporate entity organized in 1880 to provide for the care and education of orphans, challenged this prohibition in federal court, arguing that it violated the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment, which forbids the states from depriving "any person [including corporate persons] of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law."

Unfortunately for both yesterday's Ku Klux Klan and today's progressive British political philosophers, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of the Society of Sisters and struck down the private school ban. According to the majority opinion of Justice James McReynolds, "the child is not the mere creature of the state." 
Via Newsalert!

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