Focus Point - Vouchers Pay OffCommentary by Pete du Pont
July 21, 2000
I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. As the excuses for not giving school vouchers a chance get flimsier by the day, a study from the Heartland Institute pokes a hole in another one: that they'll drain money from public education.
People who think that haven't been to Milwaukee.
Milwaukee has one of the most robust voucher programs in the country. And while public schools there clamor for more money, voucher schools are spending less than half the amount per student spent in public schools. The private schools in the program actually returned the unused money to the State Department of Public Instruction. How about that?
Of the 82 choice schools, about half spent less than the voucher allotment of $5,000 per pupil. One spent only $3,100. By contrast, the Milwaukee Public Schools spend $9,500 per pupil.
Next school year, the Milwaukee program goes to 93 schools. There could be as many as 10,000 students. And the programs are doing just what they promised: educating students better, and doing it for less.
Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont, and I'll see you next time.