Vouchers are a way of expanding school choice, usually for low-income students and/or students in low performing schools. However, a new voucher system is under consideration by the Douglas County School Board in Colorado, which seems like an unlikely place for a voucher plan. Douglas County is an affluent suburb of Denver, with only 8% of students qualifying for free or reduced lunch, as well as high test scores and graduation rates.
The idea came from a task force convened to recommend improvements to the school board, one of which was vouchers. The Los Angeles Times recently featured an article highlighting the issue, “Colorado school district has wealth, success – and an eye on vouchers”. As the Douglas County School Board considers a new program that could potentially expand the population of eligible students and change the way voucher programs are designed, it is important to consider what the research says about previous voucher programs.
Check out some of the voucher research by the Choice Center:
- Do Public Schools Facing Vouchers Behave Strategically? Evidence from Florida
- School Vouchers in the United States: Productivity in the Public and Private Sectors
- Voucher Impacts: Differences between Public and Private Schools
- Evaluation of the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program: Summary of Experimental Impacts after Three Years
- The Second Year of the Longitudinal Educational Growth Study of the Milwaukee Parental Choice (Voucher) Program