The official evaluation team for the D.C. voucher program released its descriptive report for the program’s second year in May. According to “Evaluation of the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program: Second Year Report on Participation,” by Georgetown University’s Patrick Wolf, Westat’s Babette Gutmann, and Chesapeake Research Associates’ Michael Puma:
- 1,716 students used the voucher in 2005; up from 1,027 using the vouchers in 2004.
- Of those using vouchers in 2005, 797 were new participants, and 919 were returning participants.
- 10 new private schools participated in the program in 2005, bringing the total to 68.
- 3,126 students applied for vouchers in 2005, not including returning participants, up from 2,692 in 2004.
- 2,199 of the new applicants in 2005 were deemed eligible for the program, up from 1,848 in 2004.
- 1,088 of the new applicants in 2005 were awarded vouchers, compared to 1,366 awarded vouchers in 2004.
- 797 first-time voucher recipients in 2005 used them to enroll in a private school that fall, compared to 1,027 voucher recipients in 2004. The authors characterize this usage rate as being “in the mid to high range of usage rates reported by previous school voucher studies.”
- Among students who used vouchers in 2004, attrition rates have been “modest”–about 3 percent left the program during the first school year, and another 5 percent dropped out of the program between the first and second school years. This leaves a total of 919 students who used the voucher in 2004 who used it again in 2005.