(WSJ Houses of Worship) Peter Beinart: The Jewish Case for School Vouchers

Posted by Kendall Harmon

So how do Melbourne, London and Montreal maintain economically affordable, academically excellent Jewish schools? Simple: The government picks up part of the tab, often by covering the cost of the school's secular subjects. If American Jews want our Jewish schools to flourish, we must push our government to do the same.

Doing so would constitute a radical shift. Outside the Orthodox community, American Jewish organizations have for decades opposed government funding for religious schools. The most common objection is that by intertwining church and state, such funding threatens religious liberty, a deep concern for a religious group that comprises roughly 2% of the U.S. population.

But that fear is overblown. Government aid to Jewish schools in Australia, Britain and Canada doesn't mean that Jews in those countries enjoy less religious liberty than their American counterparts. Even in America, state and local governments already pay for the cost of special education in religious schools.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomy* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsJudaism

Posted March 30, 2012 at 12:31 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) wrote:

Even thirty years ago in notoriously liberal Quebec they had a full and unlimited voucher system for private schools—Jewish, Roman, atheist ... it didn’t matter. You enrolled your children in the private school of your choice and the school sent a bill to the Province for the standard cost of one pupil in a government school. Parents were billed for the difference.

My boys got a high school education that would put anything in America to shame, and it cost us net C$900 for the two of them each year.

Opposition to vouchers in the USA is exclusively and entirely about Democrat teacher-union politics. Unionized teachers are widely ineffective (to be charitable), but maintaining their cosy sinecure is vastly more important than, you know, actually helping kids to learn.

March 31, 1:03 pm | [comment link]
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