Designing a School Choice Program

Published December 1, 1997

Using precedents established by the U.S. Supreme Court in First Amendment rulings, the Institute for Justice’s Clint Bolick offers three rules of thumb for designing a legally sound school choice program.

Rule #1: No public funds should be transmitted to religious schools except at the direction of third parties.

Rule #2: The program should extend benefits to a neutrally defined class of beneficiaries and create no financial incentive to choose private or religious schools.

Rule #3: The program should not impose regulations beyond those necessary to ensure that the government’s educational objectives are accomplished.