School Choice Enrollment at Record High

January 31, 2014

More students than ever are using taxpayer-funded school choice programs, says a new report from the Friedman Foundation.

The report found that the number of students using school choice programs -- whether vouchers, scholarships funded by donors receiving tax credits, or educational savings accounts -- increased from 260,000 to 301,000 in the 2013-2014 school year.

  • Florida's tax credit scholarship program for low-income students was the most used of all the programs, with 59,674 enrollees. A similar program in Pennsylvania was right behind, with 59,218 students.
  • Louisiana's voucher program for low-income children in underperforming public schools has seen its enrollment triple since last year, up to 6,775 enrollees. The program is currently being challenged by the Department of Justice.
  • Since its start, Indiana's voucher program has doubled in size every year. It currently has 19,809 enrollees.

The Friedman Foundation's report found that tax-credit programs generally had high eligibility but low per-student funding. The opposite was true for voucher programs and education savings accounts, which had strong funding but were weak on eligibility.

According to the president of the Friedman Foundation, Robert Enlow, 15 state legislatures are likely to tackle school choice in the upcoming year.

Source: "U.S. Voucher, School Choice Enrollment Reaches Record High," Friedman Foundation, January 23, 2014. "The ABCs of School Choice," Freidman Foundation, January 2014.

 

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