Education Vouchers Are Cost Effective and Desired

Published May 31, 2016

It’s disappointing to see that Louisiana’s voucher program is already being threatened with elimination after only one full school year (“School vouchers’ future is uncertain in Louisiana,” Sept. 5). Voucher programs are highly popular with participating parents and school children nationwide, and academic results typically meet or exceed that of public schools. Vouchers are more cost-effective than public schools.

A recent Northwestern University study found no difference between achievement of Florida students attending schools through voucher programs versus those attending public schools, despite per-pupil spending being more than $3,000 less per pupil for the voucher students. A U.S. Department of Education report on Washington, DC’s Opportunity Scholarship Program found voucher students kept up with their peers in public schools despite the voucher programs receiving only 56 percent as much per-pupil funding.

The New Orleans Recovery School District (RSD) spends on average $12,900 per pupil. Every student in the Louisiana voucher program saves taxpayers $9,000 compared to RSD spending.

Vouchers satisfy parents, students, and taxpayers, while matching or exceeding public school performance. There is no reason to attack Louisiana’s voucher program other than giving political protection for a high-priced government school monopoly and crushing school choice.