Vouchers Do Not Harm Public Schools

Jason Richwine /

Opponents of school choice worry that public schools will suffer when competition is introduced.  They cite the diversion of money away from public schools and the “creaming” of the best students into private schools, leaving the neediest children even worse off than before.  But how realistic is this scenario?

A new report from the National Center for Policy Analysis marshals powerful evidence that school voucher programs do not hurt students who remain in public schools, and they may even help.

From 1998 to 2008, the Edgewood Voucher Program (EVP) offered private school tuition support to all families in the Edgewood school district, which is located in a low-income section of San Antonio, Texas.  Since EVP was privately funded, no government money was diverted from public schools.  However, large numbers of students did leave the public schools for private ones.  EVP serves as a case study, therefore, on whether public school students suffer when some of their peers transfer away. (more…)