Private school choice programs benefit students, public schools, and taxpayers, according to new report from EdChoice.
The report, the fourth edition of A Win-Win Solution: The Empirical Evidence on School Choice, summarizes the findings of 100 studies of education choice programs providing scholarships to students attending private schools. The analysis finds that school choice improves education outcomes for participants, improves outcomes in public schools, saves money, and reduces segregation.
- Of the 18 “gold standard” studies (that is, random assignment) of participating students, 14 found school choice programs improved academic performance.
- There were 33 studies of the impact of programs on public schools; 31 found that public schools improved as a result.
- Of 28 studies on the fiscal impact of school choice programs, 25 found they save taxpayers—costs to both local districts and state government—because school choice programs educate students for significantly less per student.
- Ten studies look at the impact of school choice on racial segregation, with 9 finding choice reduces segregation.
- Finally, 8 out of 11 studies on civic values find that school choice programs improve civic values.
School choice truly is a win-win for students, parents, and taxpayers.
Pennsylvania should learn from this evidence and embrace school choice. The commonwealth’s two school choice programs—the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) and the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC)—have proven immensely popular with families and lawmakers alike.
Thankfully, the legislature increased funding for the EITC this year. Yet even with this increase, the $125 million available for K-12 scholarships represents less than 0.4 percent of the funding for school districts.
Pennsylvania's students, parents, and taxpayers would all benefit from continuing to expand our school choice offerings.