The Ideological and Political Landscape of School Choice Advocacy

Authored by: Janelle Scott , Christopher Lubienski , Elizabeth DeBray

Handbook of Education Politics and Policy

Print publication date:  November  2014
Online publication date:  November  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415660426
eBook ISBN: 9780203074107
Adobe ISBN: 9781135106775


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In 2002, under the Zelman v. Simmons-Harris ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Cleveland, Ohio school voucher program. In the wake of the ruling, school choice advocates expected a rapid expansion of vouchers across the country, while opponents feared such a scenario. Advocates and opponents worked to realize voucher expansion, to stave off voucher legislation, and to undo existing laws. The advocacy efforts around vouchers reveal a complex interplay of ideology, advocacy, and policy networks. Though a nationwide expansion of publicly funded vouchers has of yet failed to happen, other school choice policies have become more common, though in some ways, as contested as vouchers, and as such, the terrain of school choice advocacy has been altered since Zelman.

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