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Catholic Schools and the Common Good series launches first book, “The Case for Parental Choice”

On March 15, 2023, the University of Notre Dame Press will publish The Case for Parental Choice: God, Family, and Educational Liberty by John E. Coons, a leading advocate for parental choice over their children’s schooling. The book is edited by University of Notre Dame faculty Nicole Stelle GarnettRichard W. Garnett, and Ernest MorrellThe Case for Parental Choice is the first book in the Catholic Schools and the Common Good series, a collaboration between Notre Dame’s Institute for Educational Initiatives and the University of Notre Dame Press.

The Catholic Schools and the Common Good series is the first series devoted to researching the largest private school system in the world. Volumes in this series provide both original research on Catholic schools specifically and comparative research on the effects of Catholic vs. other schooling sectors. The books in the series focus on the K–12 educational system, examining a wide variety of topics in order to understand trends and establish best practices in Catholic education in the United States and globally.

The essays in The Case for Parental Choice examine 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. The themes developed in the book have never had more real-world salience than today, as more and more states are embracing policies that empower parents to take control of their children’s education.

The following book launch events for The Case for Parental Choice are scheduled at the University of Notre Dame Law School on March 30, 2023.

  • 12:30pm–1:30pm: A panel of school choice and religious liberty experts will discuss the implications of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Carson v. Makin, which held that religious schools must be included in private-school-choice programs. Books will be available at the event.
  • 3:30pm–4:30pm: A virtual book event featuring Dean G. Marcus Cole, Jack Coons, and other scholars and advocates to discuss the book and the state of the current school choice movement. The webinar link will be available closer to the date.
  • 5:00pm: The Institute for Justice will record their popular podcast “ShortCircuit” live at Notre Dame Law School, featuring The Case for Parental Choice. Nicole Stelle Garnett will participate, as well as Jack and Michael Bindas, who argued the Carson case. Books will be available at the event.

All events are free and open to the public.

The Case for Parental Choice is available wherever books are sold. We encourage you to support your local independent bookstore either in-person or online. 


The University of Notre Dame Press, the largest Catholic university press in the world, publishes academic and general interest books that engage the most enduring questions of our time. Established in 1949, we believe in the power of research to advance knowledge and impact lives, and of our books to connect scholars, experts, students, and readers in order to encourage intellectual exploration and enrich conversations on campus, across the country, and around the world.

This piece first appeared at undpressnews.nd.edu.

For more information, contact: Kathryn Pitts, pitts.5@nd.edu, 574.631.3267.

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