NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

School Choice More than a Private and Charter School Issue

March 26, 2015

The addition of private school choice options and/or public school choice options gives students more choices in their education, writes Lloyd Bentsen, senior research fellow with the NCPA.  These new choices could come in the form of more specialized schools that focus on individual students. Allowing parents to choose the school that best fits their children's needs not only benefits the family, it provides advantages to teachers, the local economy and taxpayers, as well as other students. Everyone benefits from the increased competition stemming from expanded school choice.

Public school choice options are needed as waiting lists for charter schools continue to rise, due to increased demand in every state with charter schools. These options are also needed to encourage public schools to compete and to specialize.

Private school choice options are a Win-Win Solution:

  • Opponents frequently claim school choice does not benefit participants, hurts public schools, costs taxpayers, facilitates segregation, and even undermines democracy.
  • In fact, the empirical evidence consistently shows choice improves academic outcomes for participants and public schools, saves taxpayer money, moves students into more integrated classrooms, and strengthens the shared civic values and practices essential to American democracy.

Unrestricted charter law and private school choice would increase competition and therefore improve school efficiency, teacher quality and student achievement. A properly implemented private school choice program gives families more control over their educational spending, and enables them to spend that money on the tuition of a school that is the best for their children.

Source: Lloyd Bentsen IV, "School Choice Benefits Both Public and Private Schools," National Center for Policy Analysis, March 24, 2015. 


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