NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


September 24, 1997

Voucher schools and other educational choice proposals seem to be winning proponents -- from some top federal officials down to inner-city parents. Analysts say the desire for continued economic progress is a major reason for growing support for the movement.

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan has said that future economic growth will depend upon better basic education at the elementary and secondary levels. His colleague, Chicago Fed president Michael Moskow, wants to impose market discipline on public schools "by allowing consumers to choose among alternatives."

  • Polls show that parents of public school students are now about evenly divided over the question of allowing students and parents to choose a private school education at public expense -- when as recently as 1993, 72 percent were opposed and only 27 percent favored choice.
  • Black families now favor vouchers by 72 percent, urban residents by 59 percent, and businessmen and professionals by 53 percent.
  • The number of corporate-backed school choice programs has grown from almost nothing in 1991 to 32 so far this year.

Source: Peronet Despeignes, "Economists See School Reforms as Key to the 'New Economy,'" Investor's Business Daily, September 24, 1997.


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