If You Can’t Save Them All, Don’t You Dare Bother

by Kathryn Jean Lopez

The Southern Povery Law Center is taking on school choice in Alabama, arguing that a state tax-credit program “creates two classes of students assigned to failing schools – those who can escape because of their parents’ income or where they live and those, like the Plaintiffs here, who cannot.”

And so they argue, as Jason Bedrick at Cato says, ”if the law can’t rescue every child from a failing school, then it shouldn’t be allowed to rescue any child.”

“Not only would this line of reasoning hobble almost every government effort to incrementally address any problem, but the argument also rests on a misunderstanding of the status quo and the law’s likely impact,” he explains.

As Bedrick points out, there are already two classes: those who can afford private school and those who can’t. The law gives some of the latter a chance. By all means, work toward more choices for better schools. Instead of a lawsuit, how about a Southern Poverty Law Center scholarship for a family or two to get out of failed schools? If there’s a common goal here to save kids from failing schools, efforts are better spent out of court.


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