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ERIC Number: ED510552
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jun
Pages: 68
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 36
Competitive Effects of Means-Tested School Vouchers. Working Paper 46
Figlio, David N.; Hart, Cassandra M. D.
National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research
Voucher options like tuition tax credit-funded scholarship programs have become increasingly popular in recent years. One argument for such school choice policies is that public schools will improve the quality of education they offer when faced with competition for their students. This study examines the effects of private school competition on public school students' test scores in the wake of Florida's Corporate Tax Credit Scholarship program (now the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program) which offered scholarships to eligible low-income students to attend private schools. The authors examine whether students in public schools that were exposed to a more competitive private school landscape saw greater improvements in their students' test scores after the introduction of the scholarship program, than did students in schools that faced less competition. The degree of competition is characterized by several geo-coded variables that capture students' ease of access to private schools, and the variety of nearby private school options available to students. Findings show greater degrees of competition are associated with greater improvements in students' test scores following the introduction of the program. The findings are not an artifact of pre-policy trends; the degree of competition from nearby private schools matters only after the announcement of the new program, which makes nearby private competitors more affordable for eligible students. Also, schools that we would expect to be most sensitive to competitive pressure see larger improvements in their test scores as a result of increased competition. The findings suggest that means-tested voucher and scholarship programs may be an effective way of improving educational outcomes for low-income students. (Contains 8 tables, 14 figures and 18 footnotes.)
National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research. The Urban Institute, 2100 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 202-261-5739; Fax: 202-833-2477; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NIH); Florida Department of Education
Authoring Institution: Urban Institute, National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research (CALDER)
Identifiers - Location: Florida
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: R305A060067