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ERIC Number: ED508484
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 19
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Spreading Freedom and Saving Money. The Fiscal Impact of the D.C. Voucher Program
Aud, Susan L.; Michos, Leon
Cato Institute
In August 2004 the first ever federally funded school voucher program began in Washington, D.C. Eligible students could attend a private school of their choice in the District of Columbia. Each participant received up to $7,500 for school tuition, fees, and transportation. In addition, the D.C. Public School System (DCPS) and D.C. charter school system each received $13 million in federal grants to improve their programs. This study examines the fiscal impact of the voucher program on DCPS and the District of Columbia. The program is currently funded by the federal government and creates a net inflow of funds to both the District and DCPS. This study also examines the fiscal impact of the program under several proposed changes to the law. Those scenarios include funding the program locally, making it universally available to all D.C. public school students, and expanding capacity by including regional private schools. Among the findings is that the current program saves the city nearly $8 million, mostly because it is federally funded and includes a federal grant to public schools. The first section describes the motivation and history behind the D.C. voucher legislation and provides a detailed summary of both the voucher law and D.C. public education funding mechanisms. There follows an examination of the fiscal impact of the voucher program on D.C. educational funding in 2004-05, the first year of the voucher program. Several proposed changes to the program, such as local funding or expansion of the program, are then considered. The paper concludes with a discussion of how to optimize the fiscal impact of the program. (Contains 7 tables and 27 notes.)
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Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Cato Institute
Identifiers - Location: District of Columbia