The Public Interest

Behind the tax-exempt schools debate

Jeremy Rabkin

Summer 1982

THE Reagan administration must have anticipated some controversy when it announced on January 8, 1982 that it would no longer withhold tax exemptions from “discriminatory” private schools, but it surely did not anticipate the enormous uproar that ensued. The New York Times called the decision “tax exempt hate” in no less than four editorials over the next six weeks, The Washington Post stated that the administrations “maneuver” did not “deserve anything but reproach”; and syndicated columnist Carl Rowan, among others, was quick to raise the charge of racism.

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