The Fiscal Impact of K–12 Educational Choice
By Martin Lueken
Critics of private school choice programs argue that they drain resources from public schools and increase taxpayer costs. Supporters of these programs, on the other hand, argue that these programs save taxpayers money because the average amount of scholarships is less than per pupil spending in public schools. Given these fiscal concerns, when legislators introduce a private school choice bill in a state, policymakers want to know about the potential fiscal effects of these programs on their state and local public schools’ budgets.
This paper identifies 27 distinct estimates of switcher rates from nine lottery-based studies of six private school choice programs in the United States that report information about which types of schools students enroll in after they apply to a choice program and do not win a lottery.