The first public school in our country was Boston Latin, founded in 1635. That's right, 15 years after Plymouth Rock! So I can say that public schools are "like a rock" to our country.
In 1827, Massachusetts passed a law making all schools free to all children. This was a little bit of a trick question, in that Michigan wasn't even a state yet. It's also worth noting that Massachusetts is still the national leader in school funding. And their student achievement results show it.
The answer is "fund parochial schools." I wanted to highlight this so that you would understand that issues around funding parochial schools have also been around for a long time. The impetus for this has changed over time. When these laws were first implemented the main issue was that the majority of citizens were Protestant and there was an influx of Catholic immigrants.
Most of you got this one right! The 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson case was overturned by the Brown v. the Board of Ed. decision. However, you should read up on these other cases! Engel v. Vitale is about prayer in public schools; Tinker v. Des Moines features Ann Arbor's own Paul Tinkerhess and is a free speech case; and Hendrick Hudson Board of Ed. v. Rowley is an early (early? 1981!) special education case.