NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Texas School Choice Plan Would Benefit Minority Students

March 26, 2003

A bipartisan group of legislators has proposed a pilot school choice bill, known as the Texas freedom scholarship program, to address both academic achievement and overcrowding problems in Texas public schools. Large urban districts where a majority of students are educationally and economically disadvantaged qualify for the pilot program.

  • Research demonstrates that school choice programs improve learning not only for students choosing to transfer but also for those remaining in the public system.
  • Under such choice programs, schools no longer are able to take students for granted but instead must compete to convince parents that they will do the best job of educating the children.

The most vehement opposition to choice programs comes from teacher unions. Ironically, Harvard University economist Caroline Hoxby's research shows that public school teachers will be the biggest winners from school choice:

  • Hoxby's research indicates that public-school teacher salaries go up in a competitive environment, while public school administrative costs drop.
  • The reason is that competition encourages schools to focus resources in the classroom and to compete for talented teachers.

Observers say the pilot Texas freedom scholarship program represents an important step to help curb the sky-high dropout rates and gives all of our children an opportunity for a better future.

Source: Juan Lara, "School choice plan would help prepare minorities for college," March 24, 2003, Dallas Morning News.


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