Law Essay AnswerSince the creation of the new system of school vouchers, these policies have been the topics of the major legal concern. Where schools strove to use vouchers for the sake of better education, these inevitably raised the debate as for whether vouchers breach the principles of equality and neutrality granted and guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Only several states enacted voucher programs (among them, Cleveland, Florida, and Ohio – Green, 2001), but the scope of the legal debate was growing each day. It is still due to vouchers that the current system of education in America cannot balance the benefits which vouchers offer with the constitutional principles of equality and neutrality.
It was probably the Cleveland school voucher program that turned out to be the major challenge to the legal principles of voucher system in general. Given that the growing number of religious schools chooses to participate in voucher programs, the latter have already become a matter of religious freedom and choice. Obviously, the Cleveland voucher program not only violates the First Amendment provisions, but it also undermines the norms of equality and neutrality in education (Alt, 1998). To begin with, voucher programs seem to favor lower income children to the extent that allows poor, middle, and higher income families to exercise equal choice rights; but the fact is in that “compelling arguments for greater educational equality do not necessarily lead to providing vouchers, or ensuring greater educational opportunities” (Green, 2001). In reality, low income vouchers are the first step toward middle and high income vouchers, and if we seek equality not just for a few children but for everyone, providing vouchers for all children will only result in greater racial and economic segregation. Another legal issue with school voucher programs is in that they should provide neutral benefits regardless of whether children attend nonreligious or religious schools. In other words, school voucher programs should not work in a way that creates specific intentions for religious education (Green, 2001). In reality, however, school voucher programs involve religious schools and do not grant parents with real neutral choice. In the same Cleveland case, no public schools participate in the program, and eighty percent of participating schools are religious (Alt, 1998). At this point, the principles of school voucher programs go against the basic provisions of the U.S. Constitution, which vote against any religious benefits, and unfortunately, these are the school vouchers that give religious schools a unique chance to become beneficial participants of such voucher programs at state and national levels.