Zelman v. Simmons-Harris, 536 U.S. 639, 21 (2002)

Page:   Index   Previous  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  Next

Cite as: 536 U. S. 639 (2002)

Opinion of the Court

This point is aptly illustrated here. The 96% figure upon which respondents and Justice Souter rely discounts entirely (1) the more than 1,900 Cleveland children enrolled in alternative community schools, (2) the more than 13,000 children enrolled in alternative magnet schools, and (3) the more than 1,400 children enrolled in traditional public schools with tutorial assistance. See supra, at 647-648. Including some or all of these children in the denominator of children enrolled in nontraditional schools during the 1999- 2000 school year drops the percentage enrolled in religious schools from 96% to under 20%. See also J. Greene, The Racial, Economic, and Religious Context of Parental Choice in Cleveland 11, Table 4 (Oct. 8, 1999), App. 217a (reporting that only 16.5% of nontraditional schoolchildren in Cleveland choose religious schools). The 96% figure also represents but a snapshot of one particular school year. In the 1997- 1998 school year, by contrast, only 78% of scholarship recipients attended religious schools. See App. to Pet. for Cert. in No. 00-1751, p. 5a. The difference was attributable to two private nonreligious schools that had accepted 15% of all scholarship students electing instead to register as community schools, in light of larger per-pupil funding for community schools and the uncertain future of the scholarship program generated by this litigation. See App. 59a-62a, 209a, 223a-227a.5 Many of the students enrolled in these schools

5 The fluctuations seen in the Cleveland program are hardly atypical. Experience in Milwaukee, which since 1991 has operated an educational choice program similar to the Ohio program, demonstrates that the mix of participating schools fluctuates significantly from year to year based on a number of factors, one of which is the uncertainty caused by persistent litigation. See App. 218a, 229a-236a; Brief for State of Wisconsin as Amicus Curiae 10-13 (hereinafter Brief for Wisconsin) (citing Wisconsin Dept. of Public Instruction, Milwaukee Parental Choice Program Facts and Figures for 2001-2002). Since the Wisconsin Supreme Court declared the Milwaukee program constitutional in 1998, Jackson v. Benson, 218 Wis. 2d 835, 578 N. W. 2d 602, several nonreligious private schools have entered the Milwaukee market, and now represent 32% of all participating


Page:   Index   Previous  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  Next

Last modified: October 4, 2007