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ERIC Number: ED565744
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Sep
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Proving the Viability of a School Choice Voucher. Policy Brief
Haller, Scott
Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research
A recent Pioneer Institute report written by Ken Ardon and Cara Stilling Candal, "Modeling Urban Scholarship Vouchers in Massachusetts," explores the viability of a school choice voucher program in the Commonwealth. Nationally, school choice has been shown to improve parent satisfaction and student achievement, reduce racial segregation, and enhance the performance of public schools who are consequently faced with new competition. Most families do not have the luxury of moving to better performing districts or paying for private school on their own, so school choice options need to be enhanced in order to reach them. Ardon and Candal propose a program which would divert state public school funds into a voucher program that would allow 10,000 low-income Massachusetts students to attend private schools. Students in grade school or kindergarten would receive a $6,000 voucher, while high school students would be eligible for $8,000 in assistance. The beauty of the voucher program is that the value of the grant is substantially less than the student's per pupil cost in public school, around $12,000 on average; this means that the Commonwealth would reduce overall education spending if such a system were implemented while adding educational options. Some critics of the voucher proposal argue that it would not, in reality, increase school choice as tuition at many of the private and parochial schools would still be out of reach. To prove the viability of such a voucher system, Pioneer has conducted a small scale, admittedly non-scientific survey of religious private school tuition in the state. In conducting the survey, Pioneer sought schools that were geographically distributed, but they did not preselect the schools. Pioneer simply surveyed private schools with religious affiliations in proportion to the existing ratio in the state, i.e. Catholic schools make up about five-sevenths of religious private schools in the state, thus they make up the majority of schools that were surveyed.
Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research. 185 Devonshire Street, Boston, MA 02110. Tel: 617-723-2277; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, Center for School Reform
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts