...For the March 1982 issue of the National Association of Secondary School Principals' Bulletin.
Finn became a high profile figure in education circles with his appointment as assistant secretary, Office of
Educational Research and Improvement, by Secretary of Education William Bennett. Finn's
article was quoted in Barbara Morris's book, Tuition Tax Credits: A Responsible Appraisal (The
Barbara Morris Report: Upland, Cal., 1983):
Short of scattering money in the streets or handing it out to everyone who wants some, the
funding agency must define eligible recipients... This means, in a word, "regulation," the
inevitable concommitant of public financial support.
Finn also believed the government is obligated to recognize that the private schools it
helps support are different from public schools—that it is this "differentness" that makes them
supportable. The other side of the coin, he says, is the obligation of private schools
to recognize certain limits to their differentness and certain ways they must conform to the
norms and expectations of a society that values and supports them ... .
Some, to be sure, like to think they can have it both ways; i.e., can obtain aid without
saddling themselves with unacceptable forms of regulation. But most acknowledge the general
applicability of the old adage that he who pays the piper calls the tune, and are more or less
resigned to amalgamating or choosing between assistance and autonomy.
Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt
Former Senior Policy Advisor
U.S. Department of Education
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