School Vouchers, Constitution, SDA Education

Speaker: Categories: Sep 09, 2000


[56min, 56sec / 54min, 36sec]


To persons responsible for paying the monthly/yearly tuition accounts at Adventist elementary schools and academies, the prospect of financial assistance from government sources may be most appealing -- even though suggesting certain church-state relationship issues. But, one might ask, are these church-state issues real or just imagined? Do not all citizens pay for the education of all children and youth. If so, are not ill entitled to their fair share of those funds?

Charles McKinstry, Educational Superintendent for Southeastern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, who is also an attorney, has offered to challenge the thinking of the San Diego Forum on September 9.

He notes:"One of the most prominent themes in the efforts to improve education today is the use of school vouchers to give students and parents choices in selecting their schools. This plan is central to most of the Republican politicians'education reform packages.

Including church schools as voucher schools, Superintendent McKinstry contends, raises interesting questions. The most serious of these are the constitutional and theological ones. The initiative on the California ballot will again focus attention on this topic.

"This September 9 presentation will try to get behind the election year hype to look at the serious constitutional concerns, review the U.S. Supreme Court's rulings on related issues, and look at the problem from the point of view of the Adventist church,"assures McKinstry.


Charles McKinstry is beginning his fourteenth year as superintendent of schools for Southeastern California Conference which operates the largest school system within Adventism. He served for nearly twenty years as a teacher and principal at San Diego Academy and, accordingly, will be known by many local Forum members. While teaching there, he completed his law degree and passed the bar. His legal training has been extremely useful in directing the SECC schools as well as providing significant legal insights as Conference administration has addressed a host of issues. Chuck also teaches school law to graduate students at La Sierra University. He has become known for his continued interest in constitutional religious issues and, in particular, the voucher question.

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