NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED565733
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jul
Pages: 28
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Modeling Urban Scholarship Vouchers in Massachusetts. White Paper No. 134
Ardon, Ken; Candal, Cara Stillings
Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research
For most families, their home address determines the school that their children will attend. While wealthier families can move to the community of their choice or choose a private school, lower-income families have fewer alternatives if they are not satisfied with their local schools. In the past two decades, many states have begun to subsidize private school choice through scholarship tax credits, educational savings accounts, and vouchers. These programs often target specific students such low-income, special needs, or students in struggling districts. In the 2015-16 school year 23 states will offer subsidies to roughly 400,000 students. Research consistently indicates that private school choice programs increase parents' satisfaction and have a positive impact on students. The positive outcomes may explain why states almost always expand private school choice programs in the years following implementation. Unfortunately, the Massachusetts Constitution includes an amendment that makes it impossible to enact a private-school choice program. While the legal barrier presents a high hurdle to proponents of increased choice, this paper models how a voucher program for low-income urban students might work in the Commonwealth. Vouchers have the potential to do many things--improve family satisfaction, reduce racial isolation, and strengthen educational outcomes for both the recipients and the children remaining in public schools--all at little or no net cost to taxpayers. The program described in this paper could provide 10,000 students from low-income families with the choices that other families already possess. A table titled: Low-Income Voucher Programs in the U.S. 2014-155 is appended. [This white paper includes a preface by Patrick J. Wolf.]
Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research. 185 Devonshire Street, Boston, MA 02110. Tel: 617-723-2277; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts