Effects of Maturing Private School Choice Programs on Public School Students

David N. Figlio, Cassandra M. D. Hart and Krzysztof Karbownik

Using a rich dataset that merges student-level school records with birth records, and leveraging a student fixed effects design, we explore how a Florida private school choice program affected public school students’ outcomes as the program matured and scaled up. We observe growing benefits (higher standardized test scores and lower absenteeism and suspension rates) to students attending public schools with more preprogram private school options as the program matured. Effects are particularly pronounced for lower-income students, but results are positive for more affluent students as well. Local and district-wide private school competition are both independently related to student outcomes.


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