NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Annual Privatization Report 2015: Education

August 25, 2015

Across the U.S. much progress has been made to guarantee school choice; 53 school programs are now available to students and their families across the country. Additionally, a study by the Friedman Foundation found that over the past 20 years, school vouchers that help pay private tuition have saved more than $1.7 billion in public dollars for education.

Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) is one of the programs that has been gaining traction and several states have implemented a version of it. Under this model state and local education funds go directly to parents, who use the money to customize their child's education.

Charter Schools represent another fast growing school choice option. As of 2015, there are 6,700 public charter schools enrolling more than 2.9 million students throughout the U.S. and according to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (NAPCS) 12 districts have at least 30% of their public school students enrolled in charter schools.

Several studies have concluded that charter schools produce better results and boost the performance of disadvantaged students:

  • Urban charter schools are significantly outperforming the traditional district peers in reading and math.
  • Researchers found that for every $1,000 in school funds, charters on average produced higher scores in both reading and math.
  • Additionally, urban charter schools are offering on average the equivalent of 40 extra days of learning in math and 28 extra days in reading per year.
  • Minority students who participated in a privately funded school voucher program were 10% more likely to enroll in college and 35% more likely to graduate than their public schools peers.

Therefore, it's important that the budget follows students wherever they choose to study.

Source: Lisa Snell and Aaron Smith, "Annual Privatization Report 2015: Education," Reason Foundation, June 2015.

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