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Almost a Quarter-Million Students Enrolled in Private School Choice Programs this Year, According to New School Choice Yearbook

Posted on Friday February 01, 2013 | National

Single-year private school choice program enrollment growth is largest in American history

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 1, 2013)—More than 245,000 children are participating in publicly funded private school choice programs across the nation, according to the School Choice Yearbook 2012-13—the annual award-winning publication offering the most comprehensive data on the nation’s 32 private school choice programs—released today by the Alliance for School Choice.

Download the Yearbook at www.AllianceforSchoolChoice.org/Yearbook.

Among this year’s landmark findings:

  • A total of 245,854 students are enrolled in private school choice programs in the United States, an increase of more than 35,000 students from a year ago. It represents the largest single-year increase in private school choice program enrollment in American history.
  • Five new programs were enacted last year, and a remarkable bipartisan expansion of the New Orleans voucher program has now made the scholarship program available to children all across Louisiana.
  • Eleven of the 32 private school choice programs are specifically tailored to serve children with special needs, benefiting more than 30,000 students nationwide.
  • Nearly all of the children participating in America’s private school choice programs come from low- or middle-income families or are students with special needs.
  • Florida is home to the most students benefiting from private school choice, with more than 76,000 students participants in the state’s two existing programs. Two states—Ohio and Arizona—have four school choice programs each.

Following a year that saw educational choice expansions that included continued growth of public charter schools, public school choice, and expansions of options like education savings accounts and virtual schools, the Yearbook chronicles how much of the education reform successes in 2012 were made possible as a result of private school choice gains.

“This year’s remarkable growth for educational choice in all its forms is a testament to the hard work of tireless advocates all across the country,” said Yearbook coauthor Malcom Glenn, the national director of communications at the Alliance. “The gains of 2012 give us great momentum towards helping even more kids in the year ahead.”

The Alliance’s annual Yearbook, entitled School Choice Now: The Power of Educational Choice, is a collection of the nation’s most accurate data on private school choice programs across the country.  The 2012-13 edition, which was coauthored by Alliance Director of External Affairs Randan Swindler, contains an analysis of educational choice trends and information, a directory of the accountability provisions and requirements for each of the nation’s 32 private school choice programs, and a chronicle of the past year’s events.

“It’s fitting that we’re releasing our Yearbook during National School Choice Week, when people all across the country are celebrating giving parents quality options,” said Kevin P. Chavous, executive counsel to the Alliance.  “Now is the time for people to recognize how more lives than ever are changing as a result of educational choice.”

The Alliance for School Choice is a leading national organization promoting educational choice. For more information, or to download the Yearbook, visit www.AllianceForSchoolChoice.org.