Nearly one-half of the U.S.'s 42,429 school systems have no public high schools. The shortcoming is most often met by sending students to another district; but in Vermont such high-school-shy systems have since 1915 been allowed to send children to private schools, including Roman Catholic high schools.
When a South Burlington taxpayer named C. Raymond Swart (who has no school age children) sued to enjoin the school board from paying tuition to three Catholic high schools, the Vermont State
Supreme Court last year ruled in his favor. "However worthy the object," said the court, "the First Amendment commands the State shall not participate."