For Immediate Release
May 9, 2007
School choice has saved $444 million
New study analyzes fiscal impact of the nation's school choice programs
INDIANAPOLIS-A landmark new study finds that school choice programs throughout
the country generated nearly $444 million in net savings to state and local
budgets from 1990 to 2006. Contrary to opponents' predictions, the analysis also
finds that instructional spending per student has consistently gone up in all
affected public school districts and states.
"School choice saves. It saves children, and now we have empirical evidence that
it saves money," said Robert Enlow, executive director and COO of the Milton and
Rose D. Friedman Foundation. "In the face of $444 million in savings, another
excuse to deny children a quality education has vanished before our eyes."
Released by the Friedman Foundation, "Education by the Numbers: The Fiscal
Effect of School Choice Programs, 1990-2006" provides the first comprehensive
analysis of how the nation's school choice programs have affected state and
public school districts. Of the 12 voucher and tax-credit scholarship programs
that began operations before 2006, every program is at least fiscally neutral,
and most produce substantial savings. Seven more programs have been created
"Programs giving parents freedom to choose in their child's education are
growing rapidly in number and size," said Dr. Susan Aud, author of the study and
a Friedman Foundation senior fellow. "And a program's fiscal impact has become
an important political issue. This brings empirical evidence to that debate."
For years, opponents have claimed that school choice reduces spending in public
schools. Yet the study's analysis of the states and school districts where
school choice is available finds that this is not the case. Instructional
spending in areas affected by school choice has uniformly increased.
"Opponents of educational freedom will find it tougher to bend the truth. Our
research adheres to the highest standards of scientific rigor," said Enlow.
"We've seen seven school choice programs start in just the last year because
evidence of the benefits are growing just as rapidly."
The Friedman Foundation has provided analysis to many states on the fiscal
effect of proposed school choice measures. Consistently, the studies - for
states like Arizona, New Hampshire, Utah, Virginia, Minnesota and Kentucky -
point to substantial savings.
The study can be downloaded at
Click here to see study