Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Study credits vouchers for slight gains at Florida public schools

This just out: a VERY interesting study of public schools in Florida and what happened when they faced competition from nearby private schools that students with tax credits could attend.  The findings: the more competition, the better the public schools did.  Below is the press release, (slides from the author are at:, and here are John Kirtley's comments:


Despite the bias of the headline writer at this paper, this is big news. The report is actually much more enthusiastic about the effects than the headline. When you see that the effects of the tax credit program were one third to one half of reducing class size, remember that we have spent $10 billion reducing class sizes here in the last eight years, while the tax credit program has actually saved taxpayers money.  When the Stanford "labor economist" minimizes the effect, keep in mind also that this program currently helps only 27,000 of the 1.4 million kids in Florida that are on the Free or Reduced Lunch Program. Imagine the effects when it goes to scale.

Note the intellectual bankruptcy of the opposition response: "I've told voucher supporters if public education is being funded properly, you wouldn't have this argument with me." In other words, if you spend more money on public schools, I will support you doing more of something that improves public schools and saves money at the same time.

Below is our press release and attached is a copy of the actual report.


June 2, 2010

Study credits vouchers for slight gains at Florida public schools

By Ron Matus, Times Staff Writer

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