Sunday, November 9, 2014

Wisconsin Voucher spending on students already in private schools not saving money, and any money saved is going...where?

This seems odd; Two years in a row, 73% of new voucher students were already going to private schools. That means many people aren't jumping at the chance to toss their kids into a for profit (nonprofit too) money making religious experience.

Even worse; new research by the conservative free market Friedman Foundation reports the money going to kids already in private schools isn't saving taxpayers anything. Walker's expansion is failing at doing even that.

Worse than worse; the study didn't even know or couldn't track the savings. This is a plan?

The new study covers the ten oldest voucher programs in the country. Edweek:
School vouchers have saved states $1.7 billion over the past 20 years, however it's unclear what happens to those savings, according to a report out today from the Indianapolis-based Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice. Lack of transparency obscures some of the fiscal effects of private school choice programs, the report argues.
Here’s one of the above mentioned problems:
It also acknowledges there are some circumstances where voucher programs may not save states money; the program is open to students already enrolled in private schools…
Here’s another twist that I don’t completely understand, and maybe that’s also intentional:
The report's analysis does not include fixed costs for district schools—such as buildings—which schools still have to pay to maintain even if they have fewer students and therefore less per-pupil funding. But it ventures a counter argument for readers who might raise that question, noting that state school finance laws are "frequently ... written in a way that results in much of the savings from a school voucher program being passively reallocated back to the public schools."
After nearly 25 years, you would think the voucher program would be blazing new trails by now. Not happening. Check out how bad vouchers are doing in Louisiana:
In Louisiana, state education department numbers show that fewer than half of voucher students who took state assessment tests passed.  But Louisiana's schools chief pointed out that the 44 percent pass rate for 2014 is still higher than in 2010 when only 31 percent of students passed.
Wow, that better? So how does 44% compare with the public school pass rate?
 In contrast, The Times-Picayune reports that 69 percent of public school students passed the state assessment tests.
A 25% difference. That should make parents feel real good. And yet Republicans can't get enough of this failed voucher idea.  

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

The whole point of the voucher program is to prop up the religious school systems and/or divert public money to private for-profit schools. I don't think there is any intention to save any money. Especially when the experience to date is that voucher $$ are mostly going to pay for kids who were already in private school. Remember, they want a "voucher in every backpack".

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