What the Research Says About School Choice
Independent research supports the need for—and the benefits of—school choice. Read what the research says about school choice. To read fact sheets on school choice around the nation, visit our facts page.
- New York: African American participants in a private school choice program were 24 percent more likely to enroll in college as a result of receiving a voucher. The study by the Brookings Institution and Harvard University also shows that African American enrollment rates in selective colleges more than doubled among voucher students, and the rate of enrollment in full-time colleges increased by 31 percent. Using a randomized experiment to measure the impact of school vouchers on college enrollment, researchers tracked voucher students in New York City over a nearly 15-year period.
- Washington, D.C.: Students who used their voucher in the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program graduated at a rate of 91 percent—more than 20 percentage points higher than those interested in the program who did not receive a scholarships and more than 30 percent higher than the graduation rate of D.C. Public Schools.
- Wisconsin: Students participating in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program had 76.6 percent on-time graduation rate—more than 7.2 percentage points higher than the graduation rate of students in Milwaukee Public Schools.
Read the Study: Student Attainment and the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program
- Washington, D.C.: Students who receive a voucher in the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program demonstrated “the largest achievement impact of any education policy program yet evaluated” by the U.S. Department of Education. Participants in the program also made statistically significant gains in reading. Specifically, OSP students gained more than 3 months of additional learning in reading over their public school peers.
- Florida: Students participating in the Florida Scholarship Tax Credit performed just as well—if not better—than students nationally. “The typical student participating in the program tended to maintain his or her relative position in comparison with others nationwide. It is important to note that these national comparisons pertain to all students nationally, and not just low-income students,” the study’s author, David Figlio, said.
- Florida: The non-partisan Office of Program Policy Analysis & Government Accountability estimated that the Florida Scholarship Tax Credit saved $36.2 million in fiscal year 2008-09.
- Wisconsin: An ongoing state-sponsored fiscal analysis of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program found that the voucher program is producing growing net statewide taxpayer savings. In fiscal year 2010, the estimated savings was $46.7 million, and the estimated net fiscal benefit in fiscal year 2011 is $51.9 million.