ERIC Number: ED457578
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Sep
Competition in Education: A 1999 Update of School Choice in Massachusetts. White Paper.
Aud, Susan L.
In 1991, Massachusetts passed an interdistrict choice law that gave parents the option of enrolling their child in any district they selected. Six years later, David Armor and Brett Peiser conducted a study to examine the social, racial, and financial impact of the choice program on participating districts, and to determine if the thesis behind the market-competition model of education was being borne out in that state. This study updates the work done by Armor and Peiser. It gathers data for 2 additional years of the interdistrict choice program and similar data for the state's charter-school program as well. This update, for the most part, confirms the demographic findings of the initial study with regard to interdistrict choice. The racial impact on sending districts continues to be negligible. The impact on some of the receiving districts was to increase racial diversity; this positive effect continues and is increasing. Clearly, more minority students are taking advantage of the interdistrict choice program. Because many more districts are senders than are receivers, the financial losses are distributed more widely than the gains. Consequently, losses continue to amount to only very small portions of the operating budgets of even the highest sending districts, while the gains to some receiving districts are more substantial. The case-study districts used by Armor and Peiser to test the market competition thesis also continue to support their findings. Overall, the update confirms that the Massachusetts school-choice programs continue to benefit many while harming few. An appendix contains an evaluation of the author's draft paper. (DFR)
Descriptors: Budgeting, Charter Schools, Competition, Cost Effectiveness, Educational Change, Educational Finance, Elementary Secondary Education, Equal Education, Financial Support, Nontraditional Education, Program Budgeting, Public Policy, Public Schools, School Choice, Selective Admission, State Aid, Tuition
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Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Pioneer Inst. for Public Policy Research, Boston, MA.