The history of New England is defined by the region’s long-held commitment to education as crucial to personal fulfillment, citizenship and economic success. At a time of deep concern about civic and economic inequality, we believe it is of cardinal importance to ensure that all families have real educational freedom—the freedom to choose and the access to choose good schools.
Today, no state in New England is truly living up to the inspiring and constitutional call of our country’s second president John Adams for “legislatures and magistrates, in all future periods of this commonwealth, to cherish… the public schools and grammar schools in the towns.” (Mass. Const., pt. II, ch. V, § II.)
In the spirit of Adams, Pioneer Public Interest Law Center (PPILC) aims to ensure that all children have a chance to learn where they and their parents choose, whether they live in a wealthy district or in a disadvantaged neighborhood.
- PPILC will defend and promote parents’ ability to choose, bringing courtroom challenges to ensure that policymakers do not close off parental options or disadvantage school of choice through biased policies.
- We will also seek full implementation of those laws that enhance the performance of our schools, thereby giving parents higher quality choices for their children.
In the near-term, we are especially interested in
- Ensuring that the New England states are not allowing bigoted nineteenth-century Blaine Amendments to unduly restrict parental opportunities to take advantage of school choice options, from learning pods to, for example, in Maine the recent U.S. Supreme Court case on the ability to access religious schools when a public school may not be within easy traveling distance.
- Fighting discrimination against students with disabilities who attend religious and private schools who should have fully access to federal and state dollars to support their education Blaine Amendment and other bureaucratic, regulatory restrictions have severely, negatively impacted private and religious school students with disabilities by inhibiting access to federal, state, and locally funded and guaranteed special education services.