These positive effects are all large. For example, the most recent federal evaluation of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program found that vouchers increased the likelihood that parents and students reported that the students were in very safe schools by more than 35 percent. Data from the state-mandated evaluation of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program showed that vouchers increased the likelihood that parents strongly agreed that their children were safe in class by 48 percent. In addition, a study found that school vouchers in D.C., New York City, and Ohio largely reduced the likelihood that parents reported school problems such as fighting, destruction of property, and racial conflict.
But this evidence shouldn’t surprise us all that much. When given the opportunity to choose schools, parents frequently put their children’s safety at the top of the list. In fact, a 2013 studyshowed that 53 percent of families listed safety as a top reason for choosing certain private schools for their kids. After all, families care about their children’s safety more than anyone else.