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School choice refers to programs wherein parents select the schools that their children will attend at public expense, regardless of where they choose to reside. Although some scholars trace its roots to the 1770s and Adam Smith, Thomas Paine, and John Stuart, most name Milton Friedman as the father of modern school choice. This entry looks at how school choice was used to foster desegregation and how it was refashioned in a context of quality education; it also briefly discusses related court decisions.

Choice and Desegregation

In his book, Capitalism and Freedom (1962), Friedman asserted that public education should not be defined so much by the operation of a system of schools as by a method of public funding that would allow parents to obtain the education ...

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