The Legal Landscape of Parental Choice Policy

American Enterprise Institute, 2015

25 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2015

Date Written: December 4, 2015


The number of students participating in private-school-choice programs in the United States has increased dramatically in recent years (to over 350,000 during the 2014-15 school year). At present, more than half of states have at least one private-school-choice program. In Zelman v. Simmons-Harris (2002), the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the federal constitutional path to this expansion of private-school choice by holding that the Establishment Clause does not preclude states from government funds to enable students to attend private schools. Nevertheless, private-school-choice programs raise a number of other legal issues. This paper addresses several of the most significant.

Keywords: parental choice, school choice, education

JEL Classification: K39

Suggested Citation

Garnett, Nicole Stelle, The Legal Landscape of Parental Choice Policy (December 4, 2015). American Enterprise Institute, 2015, Available at SSRN:

Nicole Stelle Garnett (Contact Author)

Notre Dame Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 780
Notre Dame, IN 46556
United States
574-631-3091 (Phone)


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