Most children living in America's inner cities do not receive a good education at their public schools. No one disputes this fact, but many disagree on what should be done to give these children the quality education they deserve. One potential solution has increasingly attracted public attention: school vouchers.
Any discussion of vouchers gives rise to passionate and heated debate. Will vouchers improve the education received by inner city students? Are they really wanted by inner cities parents, or are they being foisted upon them by outside ideologues? Are vouchers Constitutional, particularly if they can be used at parochial or other religious schools?
The Manhattan Institute and New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani joined together to host a conference in December, 2000 to address these and other questions. This publication is an edited transcript of the conference proceedings. I thank Edward Craig for his fine editing and proofreading job and Lisa Webb for her excellent layout and graphic work on the booklet. I also thank the conference participants for their insightful and informative comments.
Henry Olsen, Executive Director, Center for Civic Innovation, The Manhattan Institute