The Case for Parental Choice
God, Family, and Educational Liberty
296 pages, 6.00 x 9.00
Hardcover | 9780268204846 | March 2023
eBook (EPUB) | 9780268204839 | March 2023
eBook (Web PDF) | 9780268204969 | March 2023
This work makes a richly humanitarian case for parental school choice, seeking to advance social justice and respect the dignity of parents—especially those on the margins.
For decades, arguments in favor of school choice have largely been advanced on the basis of utility or outcome rather than social justice and human dignity. The Case for Parental Choice: God, Family, and Educational Liberty offers a compelling and humanitarian alternative. This volume contains an edited collection of essays by John E. Coons, a visionary legal scholar and ardent supporter of what is perhaps best described as a social justice case for parental school choice. Few have written more prodigiously or prophetically about the need to give parents—particularly poor parents—power over their children’s schooling. Coons has been an advocate of school choice for over sixty years, and indeed remains one of the most articulate proponents of a case for school choice that promotes both low-income parents and civic engagement, as opposed to mere efficiency or achievement. His is a distinctively Catholic voice that brings powerful normative arguments to debates that far too often get bogged down in disputes about cost savings and test scores.
The essays collected herein treat a wide variety of topics, including the relationship between school choice and individual autonomy; the implications of American educational policy for social justice, equality, and community; the impact of public schooling on low-income families; and the religious implications of school choice. Together, these pieces make for a wide-ranging and morally compelling case for parental choice in children’s schooling.
John E. Coons is the Robert L. Bridges Professor of Law (Emeritus) at Berkeley Law, University of California, Berkeley.
Nicole Stelle Garnett is the John P. Murphy Foundation Professor of Law at the Law School, University of Notre Dame.
Richard W. Garnett is the Paul J. Schierl/Fort Howard Corporation Professor of Law, concurrent professor of political science, and the director of the Program on Church, State, and Society at the Law School, University of Notre Dame.
Ernest Morrell is the Coyle Professor in Literary Education, professor of English, professor of Africana studies, and director of the Notre Dame Center for Literary Education at the University of Notre Dame.
“Few, if any, scholars possess more insights about parental school choice than John Coons. Beyond the philosophical, legal, and moral concerns surrounding choice, which Coons analyzes cogently, he also draws upon common-sense practicalities to cinch his many compelling arguments.” —Patrick J. Wolf, co-author of The School Choice Journey
"Those looking for a better way to resolve differences, to transcend partisan narratives, and to promote a robust and pluralistic school system that engenders greater trust would be wise to consult Coons’s extensive scholarship. The Case for Parental Choice makes an elegant and accessible reintroduction to his work." —City Journal