A wide swath of research shows that school choice initiatives, particularly private school choice, can have a real impact on crime and civic values in a community.
Most recently, a study of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program found that students participating in the voucher program had a significantly smaller chance of committing crimes when they are adults.
A 2014 book, Lost Classroom, Lost Community: Catholic Schools’ Importance in Urban America, by Notre Dame Professor Nicole Garnett, explores the issue even further, drawing a direct corollary between the closure of Catholic schools in Chicago and Philidelphia and an increase in crime.
Garnett argues that Catholic schools provide not only a caring and quality education, but that they serve as a key element in creating social cohesion in a neighboorhood.
“The school is doing work that is holding the neighbors together and when they lose that tie then the neighboorhood starts to unravel,” she said in a 2014 book talk.
“When Catholic schools close, crime goes up and social cohesion goes down,” said Garnett. “We also find that opening schools are associated with much lower crime rates.”
Garnett makes a strong case for how expanding private school choice is a benefit not only for families but for the community as a whole.
Don’t miss seeing Professor Nicole Garnett On Sept. 5!
Nicole Garnett will be giving a FREE lunchtime talk on “Educational Pluralism and the Future of Faith-Based Schools: The Case for Expanding Parental Choice” as part of the Washington University School of Law Public Interest Law & Policy Speakers Series. The talk is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 5 at noon at the Bryan Cave Moot Courtroom, Anheuser-Busch Hall. For more information click here.
Professor Garnett will also participate in a public dialogue in the theatre at St. Louis Priory School at 7 p.m. with The Carver Project Executive Director John Inazu. The dialogue, titled “Catholics in the Classroom and the Courtroom,” will cover a range of topics including education policy, Catholic-Protestant dialogue, and the Supreme Court.
Both events are free and open to the public but RSVPs are requested.