More Evidence that School Choice Saves Tax Dollars

SchoolChoiceSaves SquareReason’s 2010 Annual Privatization Report in Education highlights the savings states have enjoyed thanks to school choice. Since school vouchers and education tax credits are typically much lower than public school spending per pupil, every child who uses a voucher or tax credit to attend a private school saves taxpayer dollars.

Pennsylvania taxpayers rank among the highest beneficiaries saving $144 million over six years thanks to the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program. If the thousands of students currently enrolled in charter schools, private schools and homeschooling returned to district schools, it would cost taxpayers an additional $3 billion to $4 billion per year —i.e., higher property taxes.

Other states with significant savings include:

  • Arizona: The state is saving $11.4 million annually because of the corporate tax credit scholarship program. Students transferring from a public school to a private school in this program save the state about $5,000 in one year.
  • Florida: The Corporate Tax Credit Scholarship Program saved $1.49 in state education spending for every $1.00 of tax credits awarded to businesses that donated to Scholarship Funding Organizations in 2007-08.
  • Wisconsin: The Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP) saved taxpayers between $24.6 million and $37.2 million each year from 2007-09. The state’s nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau estimated that school districts outside of Milwaukee received a net of nearly $86 million in additional state funding for the 2007-08 school year because of the MPCP.

Across the country, school choice programs are educating more children for fewer tax dollars and reaping improved academic results.

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