School choice advocate Betsy DeVos says a one size-fits-all model of learning doesn’t work and that she would promote charter, magnet, religious and other alternatives to public schools, if confirmed education secretary.
Source: Betsy DeVos confirmation hearing
The Center for Tax and Budget Accountability (CTBA), a bi-partisan, nonprofit research and advocacy think tank based in Chicago, released the results of its study into Indiana’s school choice (voucher) program.
- None of the independent studies perform found any statistical evidence that children who used vouchers performed better than children in public schools.
- Students who attend traditional K12 public schools outperform students who attend charter schools or private religious schools.
Indiana’s voucher program may actually diminish student achievement in the state over time because it diverts public taxpayer dollars away from the state’s public education systems.
Nations that have been most successful in improving student achievement over time have a) focused on systems-based reforms that build the capacity of the overall education system and b) [avoided] reforms based on competition and choice.
Because the Indiana Choice legislation prohibits the state from regulating curriculum content at private schools that accept vouchers, public taxpayer money is being spent on education of uncertain quality.
Because white children as a percentage of voucher recipients in the 2014- 2015 school year exceed the next largest racial group by more than 44 percentage points, Indiana’s voucher program will likely lead to increased racial stratification within Indiana’s K-12 public schools.
The school expenditure deduction will cause local governments across Indiana to lose up to $1.4 million annually in Local Option Income Tax revenue.
While the notion of school choice is nothing new—Adam Smith discussed it in his seminal text The Wealth of Nations—when the data on the correlation between school choice programs and student achievement are examined, they consistently point to the same conclusion: there is little to no evidence that voucher programs enhance student achievement.
This research and analysis were done to answer the simple question posed at the outset of this report:
“Will the Indiana Choice Legislation lead to better educational outcomes for my and/or my neighbors’ children, and be an efficient use of our taxpayer dollars, at a time when public budgets are stretched as thin as they currently are?”
As it turns out, the answer is NO!