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ERIC Number: ED530989
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-May-24
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Review of "School Choice by the Numbers: The Fiscal Effect of School Choice Programs 1990-2006"
Baker, Bruce
Education and the Public Interest Center
This review considers the recently released study by Susan Aud of the Milton & Rose D. Friedman Foundation, concerning the fiscal effects of school vouchers policies. Aud calculates the simple difference between, on the one hand, state and local government spending on students attending traditional public schools, and, on the other, the government spending on children opting for vouchers to private schools. Aud finds a cumulative savings of $444 million over a 15-year period nationwide. Aud's analysis does confirm an obvious point: if state and local governments subsidize vouchers at a lower rate than public schooling, then, all other things being equal, state and local expenditures will decrease. Aud argues in particular that vouchers offer a win-win scenario for local school districts, suggesting that districts losing students to vouchers may simultaneously increase spending per pupil on those left behind while, at the same time, decreasing spending overall. This review concludes that Aud's assumption of increased per-pupil spending by school districts might be true, but the assumption of decreased total budget likely is not. Further, even if state and local governments were, in fact, able to reduce instructional expenses by $444 million over 15 years, this was merely a drop in the bucket--she describes a savings of less than 1/100th of one percent of annual public school spending, or about 60 cents per child per year. (Contains 19 notes and references.) [This paper reviews the following report: "Education by the Numbers: The Fiscal Effect of School Choice Programs, 1990-2006. School Choice Issues in Depth" (ED508498).]
Education and the Public Interest Center. School of Education, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309. Tel: 303-447-EPIC; Fax: 303-492-7090; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice
Authoring Institution: University of Colorado at Boulder, Education and the Public Interest Center; Arizona State University, Education Policy Research Unit