ERIC Number: ED457296
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Sep-10
Reference Count: N/A
Lessons from Vermont: 132-Year-Old Voucher Program Rebuts Critics. Cato Briefing Papers No. 67.
Since 1869, Vermont has operated a viable voucher system in 90 towns. During 1998-99, the state paid tuition for 6,505 K-12 students to attend public and private schools. As discussions about vouchers and educational reform grow, critics contend that vouchers are a new, untested concept and therefore must be implemented on an extremely limited, experimental basis. They argue that vouchers will lead to the establishment of fringe schools, skim the best and the brightest students from public schools, drain public schools of revenue, destroy a sense of community, and create transportation-related problems. Vermont's longstanding program has done none of these things. The state collects no more information on voucher students than it does on students in general. There has been no public outcry for more information to be compiled to justify the system's continuation. Overall, Vermonters assume that it is a parent's prerogative to select a child's school, and the burden of proof is on those who seek to take that choice away. Choice patterns in Vermont suggest that the voucher system expands educational opportunities by giving families access to public and private schools that would otherwise be closed to them because of residency requirements or financial barriers. (SM)
Descriptors: Educational Policy, Educational Vouchers, Elementary Secondary Education, Politics of Education, Private Schools, Public Schools, School Choice, State Legislation, Tuition
Cato Institute, 1000 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20001 ($2). Tel: 202-842-0200; Tel: 800-767-1241 (Toll Free); Fax: 202-842-3490; Web site: http://www.cato.org.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Cato Inst., Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Location: Vermont