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Declining private school enrollments and the perceived failure of public schools to educate children effectively have spurred interest in restructuring American education to permit greater freedom of choice. The Ninety-fifth Congress extensively debated one proposal generated by this expanding discourse on educational alternatives: federal income tax credits for tuition payments to nonpublic elementary and secondary schools. Congressional debate focused on the constitutionality of the tuition tax credit under the establishment clause of the First Amendment. The legislation's effect on the racial composition of the nation's public school systems was considered only as a secondary policy argument with which to challenge the bill. This Note argues, however, that the segregative effect of the proposed tuition tax credit creates serious constitutional objections under the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment.
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