NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


November 7, 2005

Over the last 30 years, a large share of state budgets have been allocated to public education but how can state policymakers reduce the rate of growth of local and state spending on education? The most promising answer is school choice, says David Salisbury of the Cato Institute.

Legislative and independent evaluations of the fiscal effects of school choice have shown significant cost savings. According to researchers:

  • Results from programs in Arizona, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Florida, Pennsylvania, Maine and Vermont indicate that allowing more students to attend private schools saves money.
  • Local school choice programs show that significant savings can be realized through local option school choice, while still maintaining a high level of quality for students who remain in public schools.
  • School districts in states where no constitutional prohibition exists could adopt school choice unilaterally.

Therefore, policymakers at the state and local level can anticipate positive results from adopting school choice as a part of a fiscally responsible budgetary strategy, says Salisbury.

Source: David Salisbury, "Saving Money and Improving Education: How School Choice Can Help States Reduce Education Costs," Cato Institute, Policy Analysis No. 551, October 4, 2005.

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