On Thursday, June 29, the Cato Institute hosted a policy forum discussing “Should Every School Serve Everyone” featuring A.D. Motzen, National Director of State Relations of Agudath Israel of America; Joe McTighe, Executive Director of the Council for American Private Education. Lindsey Burke, Education Policy Director at the Cato Institute and Neal McCluskey, Director of the Center for Educational Freedom at the Cato Institute presided over the discussion.
The discussion was focused on whether or not private schools, especially those receiving funds from voucher programs, should be required to serve every student rather than those who coincide with their values and beliefs.
Lindsey Burke spoke in favor of schools having the right to be selective with their students because of “freedom of association being a two-way street.” She claims that in the same way that Planned Parenthood should not be forced to violate their values by having to hire persons who are pro-life. “Private entities and nonprofits should be able to operate in a way that supports their mission”
On the contrary, Joe McTighe took a somewhat different view. He argued that not all forms of discrimination are bad, citing some as “repulsive” while others are sometimes “good and meaningful.” His example of a good case of discrimination came from the Bronx High School of Science which only admits high caliber students in the areas of science, technology, math, and engineering (STEM). He also argues that the brilliance in the entire situation is that these institutions, in turn, are chosen voluntarily by students.