Boston Herald, May 16, 2011
There is mounting evidence that students benefit from various forms of school choice like vouchers, charter public schools and Catholic schools. But children aren’t the only beneficiaries; many of these options save taxpayers serious money.
Yet the commonwealth is prohibited from reaping many of these benefits. Even though the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed that voucher or scholarship programs, under which families are given resources they can use to attend the school of their choice, are consistent with the First Amendment, Massachusetts and Michigan are the only states with strict constitutional amendments that prohibit them.
The so-called anti-aid amendments, rooted in 19th-century bigotry against Irish Catholic immigrants who were coming to Massachusetts in large numbers, prevent public funds from being disbursed to parents to pay for private or parochial school tuition.