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School Choice FAQs

We’re setting the record straight and debunking school choice myths.

It is common for the myths and truths surrounding school choice to become mixed up in the fray of rhetoric and debate. Let us be your source for data-rich answers to the most frequently asked school choice questions. We provide all of the research—meticulously sourced—so you can draw informed conclusions of your own.

Does school choice have a positive effect on participating students’ academic performance?

Eighteen empirical studies have examined academic outcomes for school choice participants using random assignment, the gold standard of social science. To learn what those studies say, click here.

How does school choice affect public schools?

Empirical research has demonstrated consistently that competition from school choice programs drive improvement in public school students' academic performance. To learn more, click here.

Does school choice drain public schools’ funding and resources?

When students leave a public school using vouchers, the public school is relieved of the duty/costs of educating those students. Declining enrollment typically leads to a revenue loss for public schools, but this is true whether the departing students switch to a private school or another public school. This too has a financial impact on the public school—a positive one. To learn how the calculations work, click here.

Do Americans favor school choice policies?

Numerous polls and surveys find that the majority of Americans support policies allowing school vouchers and tax-credit scholarships. To learn more, click here.

Is school choice constitutional?

School choice is constitutional at the federal level and in most states. To get a detailed breakdown, click here.

Are participating private schools held accountable?

More regulations do not always mean more accountability, but yes, private schools and private school choice programs are regulated. Private schools are primarily accountable to parents and caregivers, who can pull their children out of a school that fails to serve them. For more details on how private schools are held accountable, click here.

Can school choice lead to more integrated schools?

The research shows that students in school choice programs attend more integrated schools than their public school counterparts. All of the available empirical research finds vouchers are moving students into private schools that are substantially less segregated than public schools. To learn more, click here.

Can school choice help students with special needs?

Empirical research shows when parents are empowered with vouchers, they actually are more likely to obtain desired services for their children. To learn more, click here.

What effect does school choice have on civic values?

Research shows private schools and school choice programs promote and advance good citizenship and democratic values. To learn more about what the empirical studies say, click here.

How does school choice work in other countries?

Contrary to popular belief, the United States has far less school choice than many other nations. To learn more about how choice is working in those countries, click here.

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