School choice allows parents to choose the best educational environment for their child regardless of income. Choices encompass all educational options including public schools (traditional charter, virtual charters, or magnet schools), voucher programs, tax credit scholarship programs, and home school.
School choice works for students.
Children who use vouchers do better on basic-skills tests and are more likely to graduate. Eleven of 12 studies conclude all or some of those students achieve better educational outcomes. No study found choice participants were worse off than those remaining in traditional public schools.
School choice is popular.
A majority of the public continues to believe that parents should be free to choose the best school for their child. More than 70% of Hoosiers polled say that they support school choice.
School choice makes public schools better.
The evidence shows that public schools improve when exposed to competition from school choice. 23 empirical studies on how school choice impacts public education, 22 show the resulting competition improved public school performance. No research concluded school choice harms public schools.
School choice saves money.
Studies confirm school choice means big savings for states without reducing per-pupil spending in public schools. In year one of Indiana's voucher program, the voucher program saved $4.1 million. That money went back to the pubic schools.
School choice is winning.
Every year new school choice programs are enacted while existing programs are steadily expanded; more than 635,000 children are participating in school choice.
School choice in America is on the move.
- Currently, there are 39 school choice programs in 21 states and Washington, D.C. Among those programs, the most prominent are vouchers and tax-credit scholarships, which are serving more than 250,000 students.
- Since 2000, we have seen a growth of more than 488% in the number of students participating in voucher and tax credit scholarship programs nationwide.
- In Indiana, we have seen more than a 300% growth in school choice programs since 2005.
Private school choice programs come in the form of vouchers and tax credit scholarships.
- Vouchers are a method of public education funding in which a designated amount of money follows the child to a school of the parent's choice. Voucher programs are currently operating in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia.
- Scholarship tax credits offer individuals and/or corporations the opportunity to receive a tax credit for contributing to scholarship programs for children who need them most. Scholarship tax credit programs are currently operating in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Virginia.
School choice programs must continue to expand in America so that all disadvantaged children will have the opportunity to attend the school that best meets their educational needs.
- Today, only 17 percent of low-income fourth graders are proficient in reading, while 50 percent are below basic. And, a mere 15 percent of low-income eighth graders are proficient in math, while 45% are below basic.
- While just 14 percent of African-American fourth graders and 17 percent of Hispanic fourth graders are proficient in reading, 54 percent and and 50 percent, respectively, are below basic. And in math, a mere 11 percent of African-American eighth graders and 15 percent of Hispanic eighth graders are proficient, while 53 percent and 45 percent, respectively, are below basic.
Low-income and minority families deserve the opportunity to choose the best schools for their children, and should not have to settle for sending their children to failing public schools.
- In Indiana, more than 185,000 students are left in a failing school.
- The voucher program ensures that low-income and minority families are able to choose the best school for their child(ren):
- 81 percent of Indiana's voucher students are eligible for the Federal Free or Reduced Lunch Program
- 48 percent of Indiana's voucher program participants represent minority families, including 20 percent African-American, 19 percent Hispanic and 9 percent multiracial/Asian.
School choice works!
Respected researchers have shown that school choice leads to improved academic achievement for participating students and for students remaining in the public schools. Schools of choice are also shown to satisfy parents more, be more cost-effective and to contribute positively to citizenship.
- A Win-Win Solution: The Empirical Evidence on School Choice
- Moms and School Survey
- The Greenfield School Revolution and School Choice
- The Effects of School Choice on College Enrollment: Experimental Evidence from New York City
- Gold Standard Studies