ERIC Number: ED474674
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2003-Mar-26
Progress on School Choice in the States. The Heritage Foundation Backgrounder.
Progress on school choice in the statehouse and courtroom during 2002 set the stage for ambitious 2003 legislative agendas in many states and the U.S. Congress. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that voucher programs do not violate the Constitution, even when participating schools are overwhelmingly religious. Research supporting choice has grown considerably. Ten states publicly fund voucher or tax credit programs, and 39 states and the District of Columbia have charter school laws. In 2002, over 40 school choice bills were introduced. Nonetheless, the majority of poor children remain trapped in failing schools. Nearly 6 in 10 high school seniors lack basic knowledge of U.S. history, and over half of low income 4th graders cannot read at basic levels. Students are behind many of their international peers on tests of core knowledge, despite higher than average per-pupil expenditures. Lawmakers can make decisions informed by the growing body of research illustrating how school choice can improve academic performance of at-risk students, promote parental involvement and satisfaction, and foster accountability. In 2003, Congress will consider new choice legislation and reauthorization of several key federal education programs. It is recommended that Congress provide vouchers to students in the District of Columbia, expand choice for students with special needs, and hold oversight hearings on choice. (Contains 99 footnotes.) (SM)
Descriptors: Charter Schools, Educational Vouchers, Elementary Secondary Education, Federal Legislation, Home Schooling, Minority Groups, Parent Attitudes, Public Opinion, School Choice, Special Needs Students, State Legislation
Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Avenue, N.E., Washington, DC 20002-4999. Tel: 202-546-4400; Web site: http://www.heritage.org.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Heritage Foundation, Washington, DC.
Note: For the 2001 report, see ED 453 322.