NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


May 11, 2007

Despite claims that school choice drains money from public schools, a new study by the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation shows that private schooling is more efficient, producing savings for both public schools and state budgets.

Key findings of the report include:

  • School choice programs saved a total of about $444 million from 1990 to 2006, including a total of $22 million saved in state budgets and $422 million saved in local public school districts.
  • Every existing school choice program is at least ��?scally neutral and most produce a substantial savings; every school except 3 (1 in Utah, 2 in Maine) has produced at least $1 million in savings.


  • In nearly every school choice program, the dollar value of the voucher or scholarship is less than or equal to the state's formula spending per student, meaning states are spending the same amount or less on students in school choice programs.
  • In addition, when a student uses school choice, the local public school district no longer needs to pay the instructional costs associated with that student, but it does not lose all of its per-student revenue, because some revenue does not vary with enrollment levels.
  • Instructional spending per student has consistently gone up in all affected public school districts and states; school choice has not prevented those states and districts from spending more on the students who remain in public schools.

Source: Susan L. Aud, "Education by the Numbers: The Fiscal Effect of School Choice Programs, 1990-2006," Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation, April 2007.


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