NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


November 8, 2006

The liberal Urban League has charged that school vouchers -- which go mostly to minority families -- would "subsidize segregation."  But a new study by Greg Foster of the Milton and Rose Friedman Foundation argues the opposite -- that vouchers have allowed students to move to more racially integrated private schools. 

Studying voucher programs in two cities, Milwaukee and Cleveland, Foster found:

  • Private voucher schools in Milwaukee were 13 percent more racially diverse than their public school counterparts.
  • In Cleveland, voucher schools were 18 percent more diverse.

America's inner-city public schools remain highly segregated primarily because the neighborhoods and school districts are themselves divided by race or ethnicity, says Foster.  Vouchers increase racial mixing in schools, he concludes, because they break down geographic barriers, drawing together students across neighborhood boundaries in a way the government school monopoly cannot match even when it tries to do so.

Source: Editorial, "Vouchers in Black and White," Wall Street Journal, November 8, 2006.

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