Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: February 22, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412957403 | Print ISBN: 9781412956642 | Online ISBN: 9781412957403| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
William Patrick Durow
During the latter half of the 20th century, legislators in a number of states began to propose statutes designed to provide public relief, via adjustments to state tax codes, to those constituencies choosing private, religious, K–12 schools for their children's education in place of public schools. These initiatives, in effect, were intended to divert some public funds to those parents. Politically, such initiatives tended to be supported by Republicans, who favor lesser involvement of government and greater tax breaks for individuals, and opposed by Democrats, who tend to support increased governmental services. The philosophical justification for such legislation was that a significant portion of the essential function of even the most religious of such schools was largely identical to the secular function of the public schools: prepare students for successful citizenship, further education, and eventual employment to enable them to become self-sufficient participants and taxpayers in the economy of ...