The Leaflet – States Choose School Vouchers

Published August 14, 2015


States Choose School Vouchers

With a 4–3 vote, the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled in July the state’s education voucher program, which allows low-income students to use funding that would go to the public school system to attend private schools, is constitutional. This solidified North Carolina’s position as one of the 14 states that offers school vouchers, a school reform option that empowers parents and has been proven to improve educational outcomes.

Currently, Arkansas, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Utah, Vermont, and Wisconsin offer school voucher programs.

“Vouchers give parents all or a portion of the public funding set aside for their children’s education to choose private schools that best fit their learning needs,” said the Freidman Foundation for Education Choice. “State funds typically expended by a school district are allocated to families in the form of a voucher to pay partial or full tuition at a private school, including religious and non-religious options.”

“Vouchers tend to be more transparent and easier for parents to understand than other types of choice options,” said Dr. Terry Stoops of the John Locke Foundation in North Carolina. “Furthermore, voucher programs do not require changes to the tax code, which is ideal for states, including North Carolina, that are considering major tax reforms.”

A. Barton Hinkle of the Reason Foundation argues school vouchers save public schools money. “At worst, voucher programs can leave public schools with slightly less money to spend per remaining pupil,” said Hinkle. “But in fact, they usually leave the schools with more, because most vouchers offer less than the state’s per-pupil expenditure. For example, if 10 students each leave a school with an 80 percent voucher, then the school has 10 fewer students but loses only eight students’ worth of funding. Meanwhile, the state is spending only 80 percent of what it otherwise would have on the voucher students.”

Also, don’t forget The Heartland Institute will be hosting its Emerging Issues Forum–Midwest on September 25, 2015, in Chicago, Illinois, and it will hold its Emerging Issues Forum–South in Nashville, Tennessee on December 9. You can register for those events here!

Energy and Environment
Report: Wind Costs Soar
While the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) argues onshore wind is one of the cheapest forms of electric power – cheaper than nuclear, new coal, hydro, and solar – a new study from researchers at Utah State University shows when you take into account the true costs of wind, it’s around 48 percent more expensive than the EIA claims. H. Sterling Burnett, a research fellow at The Heartland Institute and the managing editor ofEnvironment & Climate News, examines what has caused wind costs to soar. Read more

Pernicious Egalitarianism Shrinks 8th Grade Algebra Programs
A growing trend among school districts is to limit or eliminate entirely advanced learning opportunities for students, because districts claim Common Core discourages acceleration of individual students. Many districts now prefer for students to wait until high school before taking algebra as a result. Math teachers in San Francisco were told by a district official the district was limiting the “accelerated math” in which qualified students in 8th grade, and even some in 7th grade, had been allowed to take an Algebra 1 course early. Read more

Health Care
Research & Commentary: The ‘Cadillac Tax’
Since its inception, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been plagued by legal, financial, and technological problems, many of which remain unaddressed. One of the issues looming on the horizon in 2018 is the so-called Cadillac tax, a 40 percent non-deductible excise tax on employer-sponsored health plans with annual premiums exceeding $10,200 for individuals or $27,500 for a family.  In this Research & Commentary, Matthew Glans cautions the Cadillac tax could add billions more in new state and local taxes while negatively affecting more health insurance policies every year. “States will either have to raise taxes or reform their health care plans for state workers by increasing worker contributions, scaling back coverage, or limiting benefits.” Read more

Budget and Tax
Atlantic City Resident Fights Private Taking of Longtime Home
In this article from The Heartlander, Tony Corvo covers the story of an Atlantic City resident who is fighting the New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority’s plan to seize his property and resell it for undisclosed private purposes. Corvo examines Charlie Birnbaum’s fight against the state agency’s plan to use eminent domain, the seizing of private property by government agencies for public use, to demolish his home and resell the property to private developers. Read more

Constitutional Reform
EPA Power Grab Incites States to Consider Nullification
Kyle Maichle of The Heartland Institute writes in The American Spectator about the possible use of nullification in several states over the myriad new regulatory rules imposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that have had a strangling effect on  businesses and property owners. “States’ refusal to enforce what they consider to be unconstitutional federal laws is known as nullification. In the Virginia Resolution of 1798, James Madison said states are ‘duty bound to resist’ when the federal government violates the Constitution. States are now embracing this concept by responding to an increasing regulatory burden imposed by federal bureaucrats.” Read more

From Our Free-Market Friends
Learn Liberty Video: Sharing Economy: Uber, Airbnb, & Feastly vs. Government Regulation
The sharing economy connects people with services such as Uber, AirBnB, and Feastly. Despite these new ways to connect, many regulators would like to stop it in its tracks. In this Learn Libertyvideo, Mercatus Center Research Fellow Christopher Koopman discusses how the sharing economy undermines the regulatory establishment and makes people’s lives better. He also expresses his concerns about regulating the sharing economy. Watch here




The July issue of 
Budget & Tax News reports on the downgrade by Moody’s Investors Service, a credit rating agency headquartered in New York City, of Chicago’s government-issued bonds to one of its lowest ratings, citing the city’s massive underfunded pension liabilities as a significant credit risk for investors. Bill Bergman, director of research for Truth in Accounting, commented, “we’ve got to try to address the reasons why we got into this situation in the first place. Part of the way out is being honest, as soon as possible, about our own knowledge of the finances and how we present those finances to the public.”

Environment & Climate News

Health Care News

School Reform News