NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED508489
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Mar
Pages: 26
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
The High Cost of Failing to Reform Public Education in Missouri. School Choice Issues in the State
Gottlob, Brian J.
Milton & Rose D. Friedman Foundation
As a large body of high-quality research has emerged in the past few years showing that school choice benefits the students who use it, much of the debate has shifted to the "public" or "social" effects of school choice. This study examines how school choice in Missouri would raise high school graduation rates, and measures the public benefits that would follow. It documents the public costs of high school dropouts in Missouri, in order to help citizens and policy makers better understand the stakes involved in school reform debates. The author and his colleagues demonstrate how dropouts in Missouri affect overall earned income, state income tax payments, the number of Medicaid beneficiaries and their associated costs, and incarceration costs. They then calculate the current impact of competition from private schools on graduation rates in Missouri public schools, and examine how school choice proposals would increase this competition, raising public school graduation rates and reducing the public costs of dropouts. These calculations do not include the benefits of school choice for individual students who participate, or the benefits it confers directly on affected public schools (such as lower costs and higher revenues). Key findings include: (1) Dropouts are undercounted and costly to the state; (2) Dropouts earn much less than graduates and the state loses significant tax revenues; (3) Dropouts cost the state millions in incarceration and Medicaid costs; and (4) School choice programs improve public schools and save taxpayers millions. (Contains 6 figures, 7 tables, and 23 endnotes.)
Milton & Rose D. Friedman Foundation. Available from: Foundation for Educational Choice. One American Square Suite 2420, Indianapolis, IN 46282. Tel: 317-681-0745; Fax: 317-681-0945; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Milton & Rose D. Friedman Foundation
Identifiers - Location: Missouri