Education Voucher Controversy


Those who favor school choice argue that they should be permitted to spend their tax dollars at the educational facility of their choosing, allowing parents to be able to choose which school they want their children to attend. They assert that implementing a voucher system would promote competition among schools of all types. The logic of such capitalist competition, proponents say, would be a greater incentive to improve the education system as efficiently as possible. Poorly performing schools would face closing unless they improved themselves, thereby attracting more students and funding. Those schools that best used their resources to educate would theoretically draw more students. In that way, accountability would be localized and not imposed by government standards. Further, it is noted that school vouchers allow for a greater possibility of economic diversity because the poor—under that system—can attend private schools that were previously inaccessible.

Some studies support the hypothesis of reduced racial and economic segregation through the abolishment of territorial-based school allocation in the public monopoly system (where students are assigned to schools according to territory, thus dividing students between richer and poorer neighborhoods), as well as greater free choice and quality improvement by forcing schools to compete among themselves by offering more diverse and interesting programs.