June 30, 2020 10:30AM

A Good Day for Educational Equality

It’s basic: Government must not discriminate for or against any group in the provision of services. That should be especially the case in education, which deals with nothing less than the formation of human minds. Today, the Supreme Court took another important step toward enshrining educational equality, declaring it unconstitutional to block a choice program because some families will freely choose to attend religious schools.

Freedom and equality under the law are the primary reasons to take heart about this ruling, but so is the power of school choice to bring greater peace in education. As Cato’s Center for Educational Freedom illustrates on our Public Schooling Battle Map—and described for the Court in two amicus briefs—public schooling forces wrenching social conflict by requiring diverse people to fund a single system of government schools. The result is if one group wants one thing done or taught—evolution, Huckleberry Finn, bathroom selection by gender identity—they have to engage in painful political combat with people who want something else. School choice defuses such conflict by ending the zero‐​sum game of public schooling. With choice, all families can seek out what they want without having to impose it on others.

There is a long way to go still to achieve full freedom, equality, and peace in education, which begins with states and local governments extending school choice to all Americans, not just the lucky half‐​million or so currently benefiting from vouchers, scholarship tax credits, and education savings accounts. But it is important progress to move one more obstacle out of the way of educational freedom: prohibitions on choice just because someone might choose religious education.

There will probably be more to discuss after I digest the whole decision.