Research and Statistics Related to School Choice

Background

In 2009, 23 private-school-choice programs were benefiting families in 15 states and the District of Columbia.
School Choice in America

More than 190,000 children benefit from private-school choice programs.
School Choice in America

Millions of children are stuck in the public school system that fails to meet their academic needs.
School Choice in America

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled to uphold a voucher plan in Cleveland in 2002 even though 96% of the students used vouchers for religious schools.  The parents exercised “genuine choice” and could decline the vouchers.
Zelman v. Simmons-Harris

Within the same district, schools with similar demographics can have very different achievement outcomes.
McKinsey & Company, The Economic Impact of the Achievement Gap in America’s Schools

 

 

Positive Public School Impact

Competition to public schools (through voucher programs) actually improves test scores in public schools.
The National Bureau of Economic Research

Public schools are more attentive to students’ academic needs when the students have an opportunity to leave through a voucher program.
Milwaukee’s Parental Choice Program

The positive impact of a voucher program in Florida increased public school performance by 16 points in math and 24 points in reading among learning disabled students.
The National Bureau of Economic Research

Increased exposure to vouchers greatly improves academic gains in public schools. In Milwaukee, schools “more exposed to vouchers” outperformed Milwaukee public schools by 3 percentile points in math, 3 in language, 5 in science, and 3 in social studies.
School Choice in Milwaukee

A study of students in Florida found that public schools over-diagnose students as “learning disabled.”  On average, students are 15 percent less likely to be diagnosed as learning disabled in an ed- voucher program.
Manhattan Institute for Policy Research

Vouchers in Ohio increased 4th grade math and reading test scores by 3 to 5 points in one year.
National Education Policy Center

In Florida, the A+ School Choice Program significantly increased test scores in public schools because the schools focused on the failing students whose improvements could improve the school’s overall standing.
Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Private schools face market pressures that force them to use resources more efficiently than public schools.
School Choice in Milwaukee

 

 

Financial Impact

States and cities with school choice programs have not seen their public school budgets go down.
School Choice by the Numbers

Voucher programs free up more money for students in the public school system.
School Choice by the Numbers

In Cleveland, the school choice program increased spending per student by 22 percent over eleven years.
School Choice by the Numbers

While the average public school spends $10,000 per student, the average private school charges about $6,000 in tuition.  That difference is the reason school choice policies will save money.
School Choice by the Numbers

From 1990 to 2006, voucher programs increased state budgets by $22 million, local school district by $422 million.
School Choice by the Numbers

From 1990 to 2006, voucher programs had a positive financial impact of $444 million dollars in state and local school budgets.
School Choice by the Numbers

Milwaukee public schools costs taxpayers $14,011 per pupil, compared to $6,442 for the highly popular school choice program.
Graduation Rates Choice v. Public School

 

 

Academic Achievement

Evaluation of the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program found a statistically significant impact on reading achievement from the offer of a scholarship and from the use of a scholarship. These impacts are equivalent to 3.1 and 3.7 months of additional learning, respectively.
U.S. Department of Education

If the Milwaukee public schools graduation rate equaled the rate for students in the choice program, 3,352 additional students would have graduated between 2003 and 2008-a 17.5% increase
Graduation Rates Choice v. Public School

Low-income students in the Milwaukee school choice program are 18% more likely to graduate than students from all economic classes in the Milwaukee Public Schools.
Graduation Rates Choice v. Public School

The 2007-2008 graduation rate for choice students in Milwaukee was 77% compared to the MPS rate 65%
Graduation Rates Choice v. Public School

 

 

Parental Satisfaction

Parents of students in the scholarship program were more likely to report their child’s school to be safer and have a more orderly school climate compared to parents of students not offered a scholarship.
U.S. Department of Education

The Program produced a positive impact on parent satisfaction with their child’s school.
U.S. Department of Education

School choice boosts parental satisfaction, improves students’ academic achievement, and improves the efficiency and performance of the traditional public school system by promoting healthy competition.
School Choice in America

Of parents with children in private schools, 82 percent report being “very satisfied” with their child’s education, as opposed to 55 percent in assigned public schools.
National Center for Education Statistics

In December 2008, researchers at the University of Arkansas released findings from an evaluation of satisfaction among parents of students in the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program. The qualitative assessment found that “families were overwhelmingly satisfied with the scholarship program. Parents reported satisfaction because they had the autonomy to choose their children’s school, and because of their children’s newfound success.”
School Choice Project