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Educational Vouchers

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eloise morrow

on 12 April 2016

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Transcript of Educational Vouchers


What is an Educational Voucher?
Comply with discrimination, health & safety law

All teachers have at least a bachelors degree

Provide required hours of instruction

Must allow student to opt out of religious activity
An educational voucher is a certificate of government funding that allows parents to take their child’s portion of that state’s per pupil spending and apply it to the school of their choice (i.e. private, charter, virtual, home) instead of the public school district in which their child resides
Practice of state support for private schools has existed for nearly 140 years

1989 - Wisconsin legislature passed nations first modern school voucher program

2001 - No Child Left Behind Act brought public school choice into federal law

2004- first federally funded administered voucher program enacted by congress
students Eligible for Vouchers
Wisconsin & Educational choice

1990 Fewer than 60% of freshman graduating in the public school system

Grade point average at graduation was a D+

Governor Tommy Thompson implements educational reform
Wisconsin & Educational choice
"Some of our students, particularly in Milwaukee's central city neighborhoods, are being left behind. They are not receiving the quality of education they need to one day get a good job, or to maximize their potential. We must do better... Its time for us to take the lead in giving students and parents a choice in education" - Tommy Thompson
Initial requirements to receive voucher were very minimal

At first, only open to students attending non-religious schools by 1998 vouchers expanded into religious schools

Creates controversy for tax payers

Today, almost 26,000 students use vouchers to attend nearly 112 private schools
Family income at or below 300% of the poverty level

Typically already attended a school in the district prior to applying

If program oversubscribed random lottery used to pick students

Preference may be given to siblings
State directly pays 61.6% of cost

School district pays the 38.4% through reduction in state general aid

Accepted voucher student = school receiving a payment of up to $6,442
Eligibility for Schools
Cost and payment
Community high school
DSHA High school
Public vs. Private
Pros & Cons of Milwaukee's educational vouchers
Tax payer controversy - separation of church and state

Schools not holding up their duty to provide comprehensive education - use of unscientific religious textbooks

Heads of low-performing voucher schools remain well compensated

Harm to public schools
School Vouchers allow parents the right to choose

Allow lower-income students right to better education

Private schools provide better opportunity for specialization

Parents don't have to pick school religious school
final thoughts

School Choice in Milwaukee: A Randomized Experiment

Are vouchers the future of education?

Is this a long term solution?
Full transcript