School Choice

Study: School Choice Programs Save States Money

As Democrats push back against more choice in schooling, the evidence in its favor keeps piling up.

|

More than 18 months into a pandemic that has upended school districts across the country, parents increasingly support alternatives to the traditional top-down public school system. But school choice doesn't just offer more options to families—a new study suggests that it has benefits for states too.

EdChoice, a nonprofit that supports school choice, released the study this month. It found that among 40 different tuition-grant and tax-credit programs nationwide, there was a cumulative net savings from 2011 to 2018 of between $12 billion and $28 billion. Much of the savings stem from the cost difference: In some cases, the cost of traditional public schooling is nearly triple what would be spent on private schools.

This news arrives as parental dissatisfaction with their children's schools is causing trouble for elected Democrats. Earlier this month, Democrat Terry McAuliffe, heavily favored to retake Virginia's governorship, was defeated by Republican newcomer Glenn Youngkin. While many reasons were likely at play, one of the most prominent was McAuliffe's apparent animus toward parental involvement in school curricula. "I don't think parents should be telling schools what they should teach," the candidate said in a debate, handing Youngkin a valuable soundbite. After a year and a half when parents were forced to become de facto substitute teachers, and in some cases took issue with the lessons' content, the sentiment rankled plenty of voters.

Unfortunately, it remains unclear how far that lesson will travel. Earlier this month, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan vetoed two bills that would have provided low-income and at-risk students with scholarships for extracurricular assistance. The bills would have established an Education Savings Account (ESA) program, in which parents would receive money from scholarships funded by tax-deductible donations; they could then use those funds however they saw fit to help their children catch up. Whitmer had already vetoed an earlier bill intended to help low-performing students, saying that it was too similar to a "voucher program." Similarly, the Michigan Democrat derided the newer bills as an attempt to "privatize education."

Arizona has the oldest ESA program in the country. The EdChoice study found that it saves the state's taxpayers between $1 billion and 3.2 billion over the eight years included. And it's broadly popular with the parents who participate.

Rather than reward McAuliffe with another term in office, voters opted for the candidate who campaigned on greater school choice. Democrats like Whitmer should heed the voters' choice—both for their constituents' sake, and for their own.

NEXT: The American Medical Association Would Like Doctors To Use Woke Jargon

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. And eliminating publicly funded schools saves a lot more money.

    Stop forcing people that do not use this service to fund it.

    1. Hi) My name is Paula and I'm 24 years old) I'm starting my career as a SEX model 18+) Please appreciate my nude photos - http://xurl.es/id378955

      1. Why are you wasting your time depending on your monthly salary when you can work staying at home just with your PC and mobile phone you can KJh earn up to $4000 within 3 days
        Feel free to learn more... WorkJoin1

        1. Seriously I don’t know why more people haven’t tried this, I work two shifts, 2 hours in the day and 2 in the evening…FJI And i get surly a check of $12600 what’s awesome is I m working from home so I get more time with my kids.

          Try it, you won’t regret it........CASHAPP NOW

      2. You’re clearly the product of a choice-prohibited education, so you’re career options are very limited. I get it.

        You’re endorsing school choice so others can have more than just sex work as a way to make a living. It’s a good argument, although it’s a very one.

      3. I am taking in substantial income 2000$ online from my PC. A month ago EI GOT check of almost $31k, this online work is basic and direct, don’t need to go Hag OFFICE, Its home online activity.
        For More Information Visit This Site………… Visit Here

  2. Reduces state budgets and takes power away from powerful teachers' unions? Not as long as Democrats have breath and Coors Light and can fly to DC for a paid vacation.

    1. This year do not worry about money you can start a new Business and do an online job I have started a new Business and I am making over $84, 8254 per month I was started with 25 persons company VGr now I have make a company of 200 peoples you can start a Business with a company of 10 to 50 peoples or join an online job.

      For more info Open on this web Site............Pays24

  3. What if parents / guardians pull their children out of public schools that assign Dr. Kendi's books, and send them somewhere that teaches nonsense like "basic reading and writing skills" or "mathematical problem solving"? Our progressive allies wouldn't tolerate that, and neither should we.

    #LibertariansForCRTInPublicSchools
    #RadicalIndividualistsForRacialCollectivism

  4. "Earlier this month, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan vetoed two bills that would have provided low-income and at-risk students with scholarships for extracurricular assistance."

    Way to go, Gretch. That will teach those low income (most dark-skinned) people what to expect from team D.

    1. Find USA Online Jobs (800$-95000$ Weekly) safe and secure! Easy Acces To Information. Simple in use.HGd All the Answers. Multiple sources combined. Fast and trusted. Discover us now! Easy & Fast, 99% Match. ..
      GOOD LUCK......VISIT HERE

  5. EdChoice, a nonprofit that supports school choice, released the study this month. It found that among 40 different tuition-grant and tax-credit programs nationwide, there was a cumulative net savings from 2011 to 2018 of between $12 billion and $28 billion. Much of the savings stem from the cost difference: In some cases, the cost of traditional public schooling is nearly triple what would be spent on private schools.

    Spending less on education would save money? Who knew?!?

    Now do a study on how effective those programs are. Oh, wait, in Florida that would be kind of hard, since they don't require any accountability of the schools that take the vouchers.

  6. No one involved in public schooling is interested in saving money.

    1. Or anyone else in government.

  7. How this is even an issue bewilders me. Apart from some public school teachers and public school administrators who are not at all confident about their own ability to compete in a market where parents and kids would have options in education, who could possibly be AGAINST school choice?

    I mean, that would be akin to being against good choice, or against the freedom to buy one’s own clothing in a style and size that suits their personal taste.

    Anyone who comes out against such choices and wants instead to dictate to all others that they should have only one option—take it or leave it—should immediately have their true motives be suspect, or just their ability to think rationally be questioned.

    1. *against food choice

  8. The Department of Education Organization Act.
    Introduced by Ribicoff [D]-CT
    Signed by Jimmy Carter [D]
    Both chambers of Congress held a [D] majority.

    And the Constitutional Authority for the Bill is WHERE????
    Oh; That's right, the Nazi-Regime doesn't care about the Constitution.

    1. In-as-much as they don't care about the existence of a USA (defined by that Constitution) nor about the any "The People's" law over their authority/tyranny nor about any Individual Civilian Rights so established in that Constitution.

      Nope; The [WE] mob (i.e. democrats) ruling class thinks they have any and all authority imaginable over YOU as an individual.

  9. Easy way to predict policy and politics: who benefits? The Democrats are enormously reliant on teacher's unions for money, manpower, and rhetorical support in getting elected. Teacher's unions are, like all unions, labor cartels that revile competition. School choice is competition, hence, they're against it. The Democrats will never support school choice unless cleaved from the teacher's unions. I don't see that happening in any broad sense, your best hope among the Ds is to pick off individual lawmakers who are already dead to the teacher's unions for whatever reason.

    Or, y'know, realize the Republicans are the only way forward on this issue.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.