school vouchers


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school vouchers,

government grants aimed at improving education for the children of low-income families by providing school tuition that can be used at public or private schools. The idea behind school vouchers is to give parents a wider choice of educational institutions and approaches; it is also assumed that competition from private schools will pressure public schools into providing a better education for their students. The first school-voucher program instituted in the United States was a state-funded effort begun in Milwaukee, Wis., in 1990; a 1995 federal bill proposed setting up pilot school-voucher plans in 26 American cities.

The voucher concept has been controversial, and critics have voiced concerns that such programs, if broadly applied, ultimately could destroy the American public-school system. The issue of the constitutionality of taxpayer-financed vouchers was sidestepped at the federal level in 1998 when the Supreme Court chose not to review a state court ruling that upheld the use of vouchers in Milwaukee. In 1999, however, a federal court held that when a voucher system used in Ohio resulted in almost all recipients attending religious instead of public schools the system violated the Constitution, but in 2002 the Supreme Court narrowly ruled that the program provided "true private choice." Meanwhile, in Florida a program was initiated (1999) in which vouchers, good at private religious and nonreligious schools, were given to children whose public schools had failed standardized tests, but the program has been challenged in the state courts. By the end of the 20th cent. various kinds of voucher programs were being implemented in 31 U.S. states and were utilized by nearly 65,000 students. There is no incontrovertible evidence that the use of vouchers has improved the education of students using them, either at private or public schools, but often it also is not clear whether poor educational results are in fact the fault of the schools or the result of other causes.

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7, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Although Americans see reducing classroom sizes as a plus, smaller is not considered better when it comes to the scope of private school voucher programs, according to a Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice survey.
Bobby Jindal signed one of the largest school voucher bills in the nation's history.
26) Despite their important and helpful work, Wong and Langevin noted important limitations to their study and expressly encouraged scholars to expand upon their work by exploring whether states may have passed charter school laws "as a political compromise to private school vouchers.
Arguments over the benefits, or lack thereof, of school vouchers are many, varied and difficult to prove.
Obviously in a Democratic primary, that's not the thing to say, that you support school vouchers,'' said Bob Stern, president of the Center for Governmental Studies, a Los Angeles-based think tank.
Some proponents of school vouchers have put this plan forward as a means to this noble end, but government subsidy of schools--even of this sort--will have the very opposite effect: it will not lead to greater freedom in the educational arena, but at best only to more efficient educational socialism.
But the increasingly successful campaigns to privatize Social Security and expand school vouchers suggest a way out: mandatory private health insurance.
The poll's most significant finding was that opposition to school vouchers is increasing among people who actually vote, says Bavid Bositis, author of the survey and a Joint Center senior research associate.
Supreme Court, by a vote of 5-4, opened the door to the use of school vouchers.
President Bush was forced to give up on his plan for nationwide school vouchers early in last year's debate over education reform legislation.
Note that Democrats generally oppose school vouchers and President-elect Bush's proposed $1.
Although the debate over school vouchers remains high on the political agenda, the majority of the American public knows little about vouchers and how they work--even in cities and states where voucher programs already are in place, a recent study says.

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