In Defense of School Choice

Will Flanders:

Unfortunately, the public schools have not responded as well to increased competition. Aided by politicians like Representative Taylor, public schools leaders have chosen to not to embrace competition but to seek protection from it, fighting the growth of better educational alternatives at every turn.

While creating an incentive to improve, school choice has not come at a cost to the public schools. If, as Representative Taylor claims, school choice is designed to “siphon” money from public schools, it’s making a mess of the job. Per pupil spending is higher today than it was before the start of the voucher program. And because the voucher amount is substantially less than the amount spend on children attending public schools, the program actually saves money which could, if the legislature desired, be further redirected to public schools. Under current law, school districts can continue to receive funding for students they no longer educate if they choose to go to a private school with a voucher, meaning that a student leaving actually increases the districts per student revenue in the short term. Representative Taylor conveniently ignores these facts.