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There are a large number of unsigned posts as far as I can see. Sign posts with four tildas at the end: Alkrensel 07:18, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

The right to dictate school's operations?Edit

Fundamentalists (who strongly oppose any government oversight of their operations) state that, if a church-run school accepts a government voucher, they have thus allowed the government the "right" to dictate the school's operation and, by extension, the church's operation as well. Therefore, the government could order the church to stop speaking against practices such as abortion and homosexuality, since it now "controls" the church through its acceptance of government funds.

Is this accurate? It's a private school, and the government has no right to decide what to put into the curriculum. Isn’t that what makes it constitutional to have a voucher program? Then shouldn't this be deleted or a comment about its validity made? --Aviper2k7 02:12, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

The 1st amendment to the constitution suggests to most scholars that taxpayer funding of any institution be it a school, think tank, church, or knitting club that promotes a religion is prohibited. Funding is quite arguably a form of support. Institutions that further a set of morals not explicitly attributed to a religion might get away with it. I have not found a record of the number of such bodiies that exist.

In response to Aviper2k7, the above comment is accurate. However, it could be elaborated better. The concern is that Schools that accept students via vouchers (I am not aware as to how much power the school has to accept or reject the student) are receiving government funding, and because of that, the government may step in and dictate the school's policies. If the school requires students to attend a certain prayer service, the voucher-student could object and state that the school has no right to make him do that because it is government sponsored religion. Absent vouchers, the response would simply be "don't send your child to that school"; however, with vouchers, the student now has standing to make this claim.

--- This argument would be valid if there was only one choice for vouchers. If there are multiple voucher accepting schools, then the student can simply go to another school that better meets their requirements. If there was only one voucher school available, then it might be argued that the the gov't is paying them to go to their only school option, which just happens to teach woman hate, skin color hate, or gay hate, etc.

Using the argument that the govt paid for it and therefore promotes it is like saying that since you spent your tax refund on hookers and blow, that the government is supporting prostitution since they gave you the money. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:25, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

Milton FriedmanEdit

Why does this guy get quoted twice? He seems to be just one particular thinker/theorist, and a radical one to boot.

  • Radical? He won the Nobel prize for economics. He also hosted a 10 part miniseries on PBS called "Free to Choose" JettaMann 18:52, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
  • He is perhaps the most noted economist of the 20th century and one of the first proponents of a school-choice system. If there's anyone to quote about school vouchers, it's Milton Friedman.
  • Politically he is a radical. Friedman made it clear that his academic work and political work are separate. Frybread (talk) 19:21, 12 April 2017 (UTC)

What is the political impact of school vouchers in our government today, and why are they so much more important now than in the early 20th century? Are they really just another tax break for the wealthy? Or do they serve the lower classes as scholarly sources state?

How is it a tax break for the wealthy, when they already send their children to private schools without vouchers? And why should anyone who chooses to send their children to private school still be forced to pay for public education with their tax dollars when they get zero benefit?

I wouldn't say they get zero benefit. The positive externalities of education are well-demonstrated in economics, as that Stiglitz book in the references will show.--Ezadarque 14:48, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

--- Zero Benefit? The argument missing from this article is that public schools in America are financed by taxes on property, not by taxes on children. Everyone with property pays for public schools, regardless of the number of children they have (even if that number for their entire life is zero). On the other hand, people with no property do not pay for schools, even though they may have many children. This makes the argument that "the money should follow the child" fairly ridiculous.

What is a voucher then? Will we first refund the money to the citizens with no children because "they get zero benefit" apart from that intangible better society. Our current national debates on education, social security, and health care undoubtedly characterize us as a people who are unwilling to pay more taxes to have better society.

Anyone with an interest in this subject should read Milton Friedman's work on it. This goes especially to those interested in helping the poor. Money is power and a voucher for education (which we all agree should be funded by all of us via the government) gives poor people the power of their choice. Government run education denies them that, and it absolutely ironic that the left who claim to want to help the poor want to deny them the power that the more wealthy enjoy; to choose where their child is educated. Mr Friedman points out that the likely outcome of vouchers is increased innovation and efficiency in the public schools that are forced to compete or lose their students and thus better education for those that most need it. 00:30, 6 September 2007 (UTC) (talk) 19:37, 16 October 2009 (UTC) Why not just give a voucher for half the cost of sending a child to school to the parent to use at the other school. Taxes remain the same. The school district and teachers union should be happy, they are getting half of the money for the child, but no expense of teaching the child. The parents are happy to send the children to a better school. Win win win- everyone is happy.

Impact in governmentEdit

I think that the impact is nebulous and disputed. The article does a fine job of hinting at what the arguments on the many sides of the issue are. The 'establishment' of teachers unions and others assert that the net effect of voucher programs will be to severely weaken or even cripple school systems, especially those in Urban areas, which are (undoubtedly) most in need of proper funding and staffing. There are also claims, put forth in the article, that it constitutes a violation of church and state, and though the supreme court ruled on the issue, I do not expect it to die a quiet death just like that.

There are also those who are in favor of school vouchers for many of the same reasons - they see "urban blight" and "rotten schools" and think that religious intervention is the only solution. A good parelell is the 'faith based initiatives' - school vouchers, by the religous right, are a way to put "god back into government". --Colinahern 20:54, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I think the article, though still objective, covers far more of the critics' viewpoint than that of the proponents'. I added in some material.

I'm currently researching the topic and will add headers and more viewpoints/external data links after finishing. --ElAmericano 00:05, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

"Government regulations aimed at making the private schools act like "good citizens" threaten to make them be exactly like the public schools."

-- This statement seems unfounded. I've left it in there, however, the original author should provide some evidence/study to support this.

Expansion requestEdit

I don't want to formally file an expansion request but I was hoping that people would continue to add to the list of proponents and opponents. As I was reading this article and the comments it seems like too many of the authors have had opinions. If we were to present a list of respected individuals and organizations that support and oppose the school voucher idea then I think that this article would be come much more useful and contain much less of our opinions and more of the well known figures in this debate. I started a short list, it's a sentence long for both but was hoping that if people had more information they could add to both. Thanks Wikifan5554 05:20, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

On the Pro side: Voucher programs are a viable alternative to overcrowded schools, see link: I think it's also very important to note that moving a child from public education to private education not only relieves overcrowding, it also increases the $ per student at the public school the student used to attend so long as the voucher amount is less than the current expenditure per student. For instance, let's say you've got a public high school that has 1,000 students and it receives $10,000 per student, $10,000,000 total. Now let's say 100 students are given vouchers for $2,000 that they spend at private schools, $200,000 total. The public school is left with $9,800,000 for 900 students, which translates to $10,888.88 per student. I fully realize that I'm talking about average cost and not the marginal costs of one more or one less student, but it's not possible to make generalizations about marginal cost because every school has different marginal costs. Essentially, I think a viable counter to the argument that vouchers will syphon funds away from public schools is this: you will have fewer students, and more money per student to provide a quality education.Housewar 19:36, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

Movement between schoolsEdit

Many public systems outside the US allow students to attend a school other than their local one. As such I've removed the reference to Los Angeles - it's far too localised and US-centric. El T 02:43, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

Title of this articleEdit

My apologies if this is obvious to everyone else, but why is this article entitled "Education voucher" rather than "School voucher"? The latter is substantially more common and precise - "education voucher" could easily mean a voucher for continuing education rather than schools per se. El T 07:16, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

  • I agree, the article should be renamed to school vouchers to reflect what it is most commonly known by. -TAOW
  • I assumed that "Education voucher" is the most common term in Commonwealth English; is that true? -- Beland 18:51, 26 February 2006 (UTC)
  • the name education voucher is probably used i imagine, as it is a) known by that phrase in the United Kingdom at least, but also because there is also teh possibility of application at higher education levels, namely university.
  • The Department of Education covers all levels of education. This includes primary, secondary, and also work related eduation. Most times that we speak of an "education voucher" we are speaking of higher education such as graduate school. Most times we speak of a "school voucher" we are speaking of k-12. Just clear it up by specifying k-12 school voucher... and also, this is not an article about the voucher (this is not a title for a newspaper or journal... it does not need to catch attention but rather specify a discrete reference to the article)... i believe this article is about the program and not the voucher itself.
  • The term "education voucher" was originally used back in the 1800's. Today "School Voucher" is the preferred term. The first commentor is correct in assuming that "education voucher" implies a broader application, say High School vs. elementary.- KHS — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:18, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

Expansion requestEdit

A comprehensive list of countries and states/provinces (where applicable, such as in the U.S.) that have approved voucher programs would be useful. -- Beland 18:51, 26 February 2006 (UTC)

To date (11/28/16) only 13 United States and the District of Columbia have adopted school vouchers. - KHS — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:19, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana,Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Washington,DC. - KHS — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:23, 29 November 2016 (UTC)


Many of the claims made in the article aren't connected with any specific source mentioned in the references. Some of them are probably unsourced. The inline references should probably be made into footnotes. -- Beland 18:58, 26 February 2006 (UTC)

In addition, the website referenced in [6] isn't actually a source. Rather, it is an editorial that does not name sources for stating that "[t]he vast majority of students receiving taxpayer-subsidized vouchers in Milwaukee, Cleveland, and the District of Columbia are, of course, nonwhite." I will remove this claim from the article unless I can find an actual source. Qiroy (talk) 20:49, 8 May 2008 (UTC)


Horribly biased article. I'm not willing to get into a debate over it (I save those for RL), but the extreme POV is obvious. I'm disappointed in the authors. - ElAmericano (dímelo) 19:33, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Wow. After a brief reading, I have to agree. This article requires serious POV editing.--Tiler 23:05, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
To what side do you think it is biased?--Ezadarque 03:07, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
Isn't it obvious??? The article has a blatant bias against school vouchers! I became more and more disgusted as I read on. Its not even questionable - the Proponents section is about one third the size of the opponents section! Certain instances are scrutinized while others are blithly covered. In the links section, there is a neutral link, and a negative link, but no positive links!
Well it certainly is not obvious now! It is quite clearly biased in favour of school vouchers (or money-off coupons). The suggestion that we are not dealing with a public good is ludicrous while the links section is filled with economically far-right links. SlaineMacRoth 11:04, 15 May 2007

The bias of this article is obvious and disgusting.

"Proponents assert" but "Critics of the voucher system note that it is possible"

A look at the links show you that the original author only looked for multiple sources to argue against vouchers and than threw in a couple from Friedman to pretend they are presenting both sides. In External links - 7 Anti-voucher 2 Friedman 1 showing the public doesn't understand vouchers (i.e The stupid public need the government to make decisions for them) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kaos Klerik (talkcontribs) 15:26, August 25, 2007 (UTC)

I should note that the section labeled "economics" might as well go in the proponents section. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:39, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

The arguments of school voucher proponents in the United States are, by and large, offered as stand-alone assertions from that perspective; those arguments are ostensibly responded to by opponents' arguments in the subsequent section, but many of these haphazardly proffered points are immediately rebutted by additional proponent arguments to the contrary (despite this section being reserved for arguments opposing the previous section's claims). The ultimate effect is of a cynically constructed 'debate'; this (clearly fairly divisive) subject deserves more academic honesty in the delivery of the opposing sides' perspectives Apostmodernist (talk) 03:40, 28 July 2019 (UTC)

So it's like this?Edit

1. So basically parents can choose whatever school their kids want to go to except it is payed by the government? The school can charge whatever it wants on the resources they need as well as tuition, and the government pays for whatever the school charges. Is this correct?


2. Is it: the government will the tuition for any child that cannot afford private school ONLY while letting rich people choose their own education. Is this correct?

Number 1 seems like it is correct, but maybe I misread.

Zachorious 02:54, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

I think the government pays a fixed amount, which may or may not be enough to cover the cost of tuition at a private school. AFAIK charter schools will generally if not always accept the voucher at face value, so even the poorest students can get in. —Traal 20:21, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
To the best of my knowledge, that's how the concept of vouchers work. The government already pays x number of dollars per pupil to the public schools. The voucher, in effect, would be giving that money directly to parents to give to the school of their choice, instead of having it go directly to the local public institution. In theory, this would allow a poor kid from a bad neighborhood to go to a swanky prep school (the public school money is pretty significant), but it doesn't take into account matters like transit, incidental expenses, and so on. 16:52, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
Also consider that on average public education usually costs far more than private education. In the US public education cost anywhere from 1/3 higher per student to over twice the cost of private education. In NC for example, the average private elementary school charges $4,200 a year, while the average public elementary cost $9,200 a year per pupil. Because tax money is automatically paid out, parents rarely appreciate the fact that they collectively paid more to send their kids to a public school than private school. To add insult to injury, private schools almost always have far better test scores, higher graduation and collage acceptance rates. Arguably private schools are far more efficient with the money they get. Everyone pays taxes that are automatically used to fund public schools, without vouchers parents who to want to put their kids in private schools are paying double, as they're funding both public schools and private schools simutaneously. Jadon (talk) 14:16, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

Meet their taxes?Edit

The Criticism section includes the following sentence, "Further criticism comes from various rich and poor people, assuming their vouchers will actually meet their taxes." I do not know if "meet their taxes" is a typo, or if it has a meaning I am not familiar with. What does it mean for a voucher to "meet their taxes"? Any ideas? --Mikebrand 17:37, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

It's referring to cost basis... of matching vouchers to a public school's tax cost per student. Jadon (talk) 18:29, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

The writing in this article is not very clearEdit

I'm going to try to improve this very clunky sentence: "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."

Another one: "Parents can only choose those non-profit making will yearly fee less than $24000." I'd edit this sentence, but I no idea what the author was trying to say. Re-write, please.

removed a bunch of textEdit

I removed a large section which was introduced in the August 19th edits, it was really bad. --Xyzzyplugh 19:26, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

Public/private goods POVEdit

The paragraph in "economics" that explained why education is a private good, with many positive externalities was removed because it was supposedly POV. However, it only makes assertions about economic theory, available in several manuals, including Stiglitz's book in the reference. Before it was removed, it had been changed to a true POV, since it then said that education was both a public and a private good (no citations), and made several remarks about American legislation (thereby hurting worldwide view) that do not pertain to economic theory matters. I'm bringing it back, and am willing to discuss it.

Excellent idea. Economic theory is as neutral as you can get. Its based on theory, there is no way it in itself can be biased. If used improperly yes, so that must be watched, but otherwise agreed.

About the nature of educationEdit

Is education really a rivalrous good ? I mean, if you have 21 pupils instead of 20 in a classroom, there is almost no change... And if i can say that, then someone else probably thought about it before. So, can this argument be included in some kind of a "criticism of the criticism" section, even if additionnal citations would be needed ?

I think education is pretty much a rivalrous good, but if you find any citation...--Ezadarque 01:35, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
The article states that education a rivalrous good, but then it says that the number of seats are limited and students could only be place if there was room. That implies that it is a scarce good. It assumes that the amount of schools are fixed; that schools cannot be expanded and new private schools cannot be built. Barney Gumble 20:42, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
Every economic good is scarce. If it were abundant, like air, there would no reason for trade to occur. -- 13:57, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
Scarce does not mean it cannot be expanded. Scarce means that it has a cost of any sort. A scarce good is something with a cost that you would rather have some of than none of. So basically everything falls under this category with some markable exceptions (such as any bad) but generally speaking it works. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:25, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

Difference in quality between public and private schoolsEdit

Someone wrote "a belief found to be without merit in a 2006 Bush Administration Dept. of Education study"

When I checked the study available at [1], the conclusion was different from the above quote. It stated that students at private schools achieved at higher level than students at public schools, but when adjusting the comparisons for student characteristics (Race, gender, english as a first language, computer at home, etc...), the difference was insignificant. Now let's see, most private school students are white, middle/upper class, and from stable families. While most students in urban public schools are ethnic minorities, immigrants, and from low income families. So I see this "adjusting the comparisons for student characteristics" laughable, as it's obvious private school students and public school beneficiaries, don't share the same characteristics. So instead of misleading the reader, the author should have examined closely the study, to understand that the conclusion was that, private schools have better results because they attract priviledged students, not because they offer better education.

Vincent Shooter 10:29, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

Both versions are wrong! I checked the study out too and it does not support any of the conclusions being thrown around. In some cases private schools may have performed better, and other times not so. Then there is the issue of 'adjusting' which certainly changes things up a bit, but not in the simplistic way suggested by Vincent Shooter. Besides, the whole conclusion about the private schools only doing better because they attract certain students and not because of the education, is not supported by the article. It is not cited. It is biased. It is not a statement of accepted fact. Its just some partisan claim. Its even original research. It should not go in there, nor should the original stay. I'm not even sure the study proves anything worth generalizing. The article should not be about making original arguments or parsing data. 01:27, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

This article is terribly biasedEdit

This article clearly shows a bias against school vouchers.

- The proponents section is a tiny compared to the opponents section - Some claims are critically evaluated, while others are not - The references section has one article against vouchers, on neutral one, but no articles in support of it. This is terribly unbalanced.

Most striking, is that people seem to be using this article like its some sort of research project. This is not the place to do original research, or make your own presentation of vouchers. This article reads like it is someones personal take on the issue, or reflects their opinion, based on research, of vouchers in general. Who could think that this article is encyclopedic? Whether one thinks vouchers are good or bad, succesful or unsuccesful, does not matter. The article should just present a straightfoward, objective, summary of what vouchers are, with equal devotion to arguments for and against. For those who want to explore the issue further, and perhaps take a side on the issue, external links should be provided, featuring both pro-voucher, anti-voucher, and neutral articles.

Here is a great template:

I say we follow it. 01:37, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

The link is much better than the article. The article reads like a 5th grade editorial. It's choppy poorly written, and loaded with original research. Barney Gumble 20:48, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Hello, Barney Gumble -- I agree that this article will require skill and effort to be encyclopedic. I disagree that your reference is a model for NPOV. It says, "More money is put back into the private sector rather than squandered at the Department of Education and other wasteful government bureaucracies." Rhadow (talk) 17:33, 17 November 2017 (UTC)

State, Public and Private SchoolsEdit

In Australia, New Zealand and the UK, the term "Public School" can in fact mean "Private School"; while the distinction between public and private is fairly clear in this article, it should be clearer. I won't do anything without some kind of consensus, but wouldn't it be better to use the terms "State" and "Public", which, as far as I know, aren't ambiguous? User:Wozocoxonoy 13:54, 30 November 2006 (GMT)

Or rather, "State" and "Private" should be completely unambiguous. Also I'm Australian and not aware of the usage of "public" school in this way... but regardless. Any complaints to this? Alkrensel 07:16, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

"State" and "Public" are the exact same thing. Think about it, if something is owned by the State, and the State is not private, it has to be Public. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:27, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
But if it is public it doesn't mean it's owned by the state. See Public_transport#Airline (talk) 12:57, 11 July 2019 (UTC)
Actually Wozocoxonoy has a point but he is also partly mistaken. In the UK, a "public school" can indeed be what most would call a private school. See the article for details. Whether this terminology is accurate is a somewhat moot point since it is used in the UK. However the key point which Wozo got wrong is that it is not the case in Australia and New Zealand (although it is the case in Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan) Nil Einne (talk) 01:13, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
The British terminology dates back from when Private Tuition meant being taught individually or with a small group of siblings or friends' children, usually at home. Then a Public School was one where the general public could go but had to pay. Then the State started to provide universal schooling. Also anyone familiar with Hogwarts from Harry Potter will realise that "Public School" in the UK usually includes board and lodging. So in the UK private schools are much more expensive, eg $51,020.50 for Eton, than public schools and a voucher scheme wouldn't really help with affordability. For example Steve Jobs says US parents would only have to find $1,000 to make up the difference. This isn't comparable to the situation in the UK. (talk) 15:32, 11 July 2019 (UTC)

Education Voucher in Belgium?Edit

Is it true? Is there any Education Voucher Programme being run in Belgium? I have never heard of it.

Completely biased in favor of vouchers/Neutrality Dispute!Edit

It seems that this article went from being against vouchers to being for vouchers. Here are a couple of examples:

1). The "Opponents" section is supposed to contain arguments against vouchers, but it contains this sentence, "Many school choice proponents believe the NEA's and AFT's opposition to vouchers is really just a self interested attempt to block any competition to the union dominated public school system." Why is this mentioned here and not in the "Proponents" section? Why did the author feel that it was necessary to place a derogatory statement against the opponents of school vouchers in the section that was supposed to list the beliefs of those opponents?

2). The "Economics" section lists nothing but supporting arguments for school vouchers, so why was this not placed in the "Proponents" section? Just take a look at the concluding sentence (Italics are mine), "By subsidizing the consumer, proponents of school choice believe that vouchers will foster competition and allow the consumer to purchase higher quality education." Enough said.

This is an absolutely ridiculous statement. Economic theory has no bias, it is a lens you look at something through. How can a theory based on generalities and non-specific observation be biased? The concluding statement is what Economic theory would imply, but not explicitly state. Perhaps that would make it more neutral if that distinction were made? At least economic theory isnt independent research. Unless you count Mr. Adam Smith as a poor source.

In addition, the "Proponents" section is nearly twice as long as the "Opponents section." When someone complains about ideological bias, I believe they have a valid point that should be addressed. However, it is hypocritical to replace one bias with another. Nevertheless, I will not edit this article because I know little about the school choice controversy, and I want others to look upon this article and make their own opinions. (talk) 08:13, 12 April 2007 (UTC).

I have to agree, I'd like to at a "the neutrality of this article is disputed" Label on this, but I don't know how. I've noticed that the opponents section has counter arguments in it.
I'd prefer to build up the opponents section, rather than edit the proponents section as the proponents section is well done.
Hm, I'm going to dig through this articles history to see if their are better arguments that got deleted in order to "balance out" the two side, back when it was biased it the other direction.

Kairos 10:11, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

OK I found some older arguments that were cut, I'll assume, way back when the article was biased against Vouchers. I've tried to add them back in.Kairos 11:30, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure there are contrasting interpretations to economic theory not mentioned in the section, so I think there's definitely a strong pro bias. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:44, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

If you signed AND explained your post I might care.HINT.HINT.Kairos 11:20, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

"Grade Inflation?"Edit

Some support school vouchers only when coupled with standard tests. They reason that if there are no standard tests, the schools in the school voucher system may be tempted to give more students passing grades or "lower their bars" in order to attract students.

This is said twice word for word in both the "opponents" and "grade inflation?" sections, which are right next to each other. I think that the "grade inflation?" section should be taken out as it is not needed, it is very short, and it makes the article seem even more biased than it already is. Nasakebukai 12:51, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

Anti-Voucher biasEdit

It seems the article is biased against vouchers. The section on vouchers is significantly shorter. Places where vouchers have suceeded are simply listed as a fact (which is good) but places where vouchers have lost have been heralded as a good thing (definitely not good). Furthermore, the Opponents section could be significantly shortened and given more credibility if all the statements starting with "Some beleive..." "Some support..." were removed. Who are these "some"? Cite said sources, or remove the statements. It would add credibility and objectivity to the opposing side if this were done.

Edit: Added "citation needed" tags to anywhere where "Some economists...", "Some people...." etc. is mentioned. Also some small grammatical corrections. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:42, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

Most of this article reads like an essay not an encylopedia. Page needs major work. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:26, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Update on Utah referndumEdit

Added an update on the Utah Voucher law getting defeated by voters in the state, with notation. TheStormofWar 15:59, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

Proponents / Opponents and EconomicsEdit

A large majority of Economists support a school voucher system. In a survey performed by Robert Whaples (Professor of Economics at Wake Forest University), 67.1% of Economists agreed that parents should be given educational vouchers that can be used for government or privately run schools. Only 30.1% were opposed. Ref: Wwhaples,R. Do Economists Agree on Anything? Yes!, The Economists Voice. Vol 3(9):2006.

The opponents need to be better identified, that is, the vast majority of the opposition comes from Teacher' unions and supporters thereof.

The Economics section is specualtive, unclear and largely irrelevent to the article and should be eliminated. M1mauney (talk) 18:05, 27 January 2008 (UTC)m1mauney 1/27/08.

"The opponents need to be better identified, that is, the vast majority of the opposition comes from Teacher' unions and supporters thereof." is a POV Statement. As to your opinion about the Economics section: Economics is obviously important to the subject of School Voucher's if you think that the opinion of a majority of economists in a single study should be mentioned.Kairos (talk) 19:37, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

Public Education: Public good or Common good?Edit

The following statement is made in the Economics section:

Public education refers to the goal of educating the entire public for their own benefit and the benefit of society as a whole. Looked at from this point of view, public education is a public good

Since many aspects of public education can be rivalrous, (for example, a desk, a textbook, the teacher's personal attention), but by its public nature be non-excludable, wouldn't public education be better described as a common good or common-pool resource? EPM (talk) 15:39, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Broken Link? (some ideas for fixing it)Edit

The entry for the "20/20 Report on the American public school system" (under "External links") seems to have a URL that doesn't work. (for me...) I tried the link - to a URL of

but, no luck. I could not seem to find it. On a hunch, I did a 'search' within youtube for the character string << "20/20 Report on the American public school system" >> and I got some hits... the first one:

seems to be a video response from a Canadian guy, saying that Stossel and 20/20 were wrong / misleading / unfair, on certain things. And, one of the "related" videos [to that] which was shown,

may be [another copy? of] the 20/20 report; although the URL probably works OK without the "&feature=related" added to the end - - so I think

would work OK. Mike Schwartz (talk) 01:31, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

[PS:] Why is this "URL update" needed? Is it because the "original" entry on youtube for the video about "20/20 Report on the American public school system" is no longer out there? Mike Schwartz (talk) 01:31, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Controversy sectionEdit

The controvery section appears to represent a US POV with one mention of an Australian party. While some of the details may apply to countries other then the US, this is not clear from the section, nearly all of the examples are from the US and some the details clearly don't apply worldwide. For example, criticism in other countries may come from teachers unions, but it clearly doesn't come from the "National Education Association". And private universities are unheard of in some countries. Nil Einne (talk) 06:00, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

Blatant biasEdit

I refer not to the article, but to one particular sentence under "Opponents:"

"One reason given for being allowed to choose private schools is the belief that private schools offer better education – a belief disputed by the US public Deptartment of Education in their 2006 study."

That's right, "public" is not only acknowledged, but emphasized! To begin with, it is unnecessary to even say that the USDE is a government institution (common knowledge), but to textually emphasize that is just petty. Please, delete that. (talk) 04:03, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

I'd have to disagree... remove the italic emphasis of "public" or reword it if you like, but the point of it's addition is valid as it's showing a conflict of interest in exactly who is funding that study. Such is not readily apparent to the reader, particularly from outside the United States. By comparison, if someone was referencing a study that life long tobacco use is relatively safe, perhaps the MOST important information to include up front would be who funded and conducted the study, obviously if a tobacco company did the research it's questionable as a severe conflict of interest.
The addition of that word doesn't communicate anything false, slanderous or biased... it's true in every sense. In fact I think it's "petty" to consider the addition of "public" biased simply because it's at worst merely redundant. Please understand that at best, it's an informative and important qualifier. Jadon (talk) 23:36, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
FWIW, I agree with Jadon. --Born2cycle (talk) 23:44, 27 January 2009 (UTC)


It seems that the voucher programs in Maine and Vermont dating back to the 1800s should be included in the History section at the very least. I can add some of the information for that. Anyone else want to pitch in?--Arationalguy (talk) 21:50, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

For starters, here's a description of the existing voucher program in Vermont that began in 1869 link and the program in Maine that began in 1873 link Anyone have any suggestions on how we should describe them in the History section?--Arationalguy (talk) 07:41, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

I've added an introductory paragraph the history to include older Vermont and Maine programs, and also brought the racial discrimination issue in that section into modern context, since racial discrimination is prohibited in voucher programs today. I think it makes more sense to round out the discussion like that.--Arationalguy (talk) 19:18, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

Unsourced and arguably misleadingEdit

The NEA is not against vouchers "for concern that it could erode educational standards". To put it bluntly they are concerned about it because it would mean fewer kids in public schools, and some public school teaching jobs would be lost and private school ones created, which would be non-union jobs. Now we could maybe say they are concerned about funds being diverted from public schools, or even that it could erode public school standards, but the concern is not that kids at private schools are not getting a good education. Gtbob12 (talk) 23:45, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

What do they mean by "adjusted"???Edit

The text of the article says that test scores, "when adjusted for student and school characteristics", such as "race, gender, and free or reduced price lunch program eligibility" are the same across the spectrum. I don't really comprehend what that's supposed to mean. So are the students in private schools performing better academically by the same standards or not? Are the underprivileges students expected to perform less well so the "adjustment" means that they are considered at the same level, despite the fact that they did much worse? I don't get how this works. I mean if this is true and this "adjustment" means that even if they did worse in tests they are considered at the same level given their environment, wealth and other factors, well, I must be a bloody genious growing up in a 2nd world poor and corrupt East European country and all that.

So the thing is that I don't understand the methodology used in the U.S. for determining the general and particular educational levels of the country's students. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Omulurimaru (talkcontribs) 15:00, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

Whether they are in a private school or not needs to be isolated from the students that attend the school. If it wasn't than private schools would be at an advantage or disadvantage when compared public schools regardless of whether private schools are actually better. This is what the adjustment is trying to compensate for.--Jorfer (talk) 20:39, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
If held to exactly the same testing standards (looking at the test scores and college placement) private schools almost always perform significantly better than publics schools. However, not all of this difference is due do the quality of the received education... generally IQ, testing performance, lower delinquency / criminality, college placement, graduation rates, and various other stats all improve with increased parental wealth / socioeconomic status. Unfortunately, there's also a strong and persistent racial gap in academic performance between Asians, Caucasians, Hispanics, and Blacks. Sense very few poor children and racial minorities (particularly Blacks and Hispanics) attend private schools (even per capita), this study by the Department of Education (who oversees the public school system) seeks to compare the performance by adjusting for race and socioeconomic status. It's alleged that when you make these score offsets private schools only perform slightly better. However, even if you accept their adjustment methodology this is like comparing a top performing sports team to one of persistently lesser performance and saying that in spite of the actual scores and outcomes these two teams are the same when "adjusted" for pay / wealth and race. Obviously, comparing real outcomes to adjusted theoreticals is a weak argument and common sense should always have you wanting to put your child on the winning team regardless of how fair the competition is.Jadon (talk) 00:06, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

2011 Summer Edit WarEdit

CartoonDiablo, please explain how the statements below are POV and ambiguous, as you've claimed. How exactly is it POV of view to say public sector is "administered by the government" and private sector is "independent of the government"... that's the very basis of how these terms public / private are defined. It even says this much on the lede on their own wiki pages that are hyperlinked. In fact, it is far more "ambiguous" to use the words public and private several times to define itself within it's own definition, as you keep deleting my edits and reverting to. Further, it should be mentioned that I think this whole definitions section of the article is pointless, and I'd like it removed... it seems to have been created solely to interject the following statement "There is no such thing as a separate "voucher school".", but in the mean time at least make these definitions correct.


  • Public schools are administered by the government and are funded through taxation.
  • Private schools operate independent of the government and are funded through charging students tuition rather than through taxation.
  • Charter schools are publicly funded schools which operate in the public sector, but are free from many of the regulations that apply to traditional public schools.

" Jadon (talk) 19:21, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

First of all, the citation does not support what you put, as it says, Charter schools receive public money but are administered privately namely, "A private group of people their own school" and "a niche between private and public schools" nowhere does it says they're within the "public sector" or that they are public schools.
The relevance of the section is based on many things like confusion between open enrollment and vouchers and the claim of voucher schools being a separate entity, it's also helpful to include definitions of private and public schools for comparison.
Finally, the definitions you used were ambiguous and irrelevant (hinging on POV violations) because they compared how each type of school is related to the government (or isn't etc.) instead of defining them. You also attempted to explain whether the schools are "free from the government", the obvious subtext being government is negative. An obvious counter example would be if someone put:
  • Public schools are not funded by private money or organizations.
  • Private schools are administered by private organisations and individuals and funded by private money.
  • Charter schools are publicly funded schools but operate privately, they are not free from private administration.
Hence in this case everything is being compared to a private entity with that being negative. Hope this helps,
CartoonDiablo (talk) 19:52, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

Thank you for not yet deleting my edit and first discussing it. I'm okay with those proposed counter examples, they are better than what we have now. Also, you don't seem to understand that public and private means by the gov't or not by the gov't... there's no POV is stating how that word is defined, you're being too sensitive to the point of dumbing down definitions into circular reasoning. Which oddly you don't like that I'm using the exact same terminology that's used in the main article's lede for public sector and private sector.

As for charter schools, any organization that is funded primarily through taxation is a public ran entity and part of the public sector regardless if their managers are voted in democratically or not. Regardless or whether it's administered by a school board or not does not change it being public or private sector. Here's some quote mining from that reference that will help prove the point that charter schools are "within the public school system":

"To better understand what a charter school is, you need to know what lawmakers seek to do by drafting charter school laws. In most states, they want to:

•Increase opportunities for learning and provide access to quality education for people. •Create choice for parents and students within the public school system •Provide a system of accountability for results in public education •Encourage innovative teaching practices •Create new professional opportunities for teachers •Encourage community and parent involvement in public education. •Leverage improved public education [1] "

"Charter schools are innovative public schools providing choices for families and greater accountability for results. " Source: US Charter Schools ( Jadon (talk) 20:18, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

Both the counter-examples and your examples are obvious violations of NPOV and I don't think anyone should be OK with either. Secondly, you seem to hold a black and white view of something being government subsidized making it automatically "public" (even in spite of things like private, non-publicly traded companies getting subsidies) and that "public" can only mean whether or not by the government, both of which are completely untrue.
As your source points out, and as I don't think it needs explaining, a system where "A private group of people their own school" is obviously privatly administered and done "in public education" only insofar as that they're used to compete with and improve public schools, not very many people would call a charter a "public school".
Honestly I don't think I have to tell you you're making blatant POV edits and if you continue I will have no choice but to take this dispute higher up. CartoonDiablo (talk) 22:01, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

Please do take this dispute to higher up's before deleting my edits again, I'd love other outside opinions in this dispute and I will submit to a consensus from several other qualified users (I'll be on vacation for a week). I agree that it's not black and white for certain organizations being public or private sector, but we're not talking about grey areas with mere minor funding through subsidies... charter schools are funded in the exact same manner as public schools thru taxation, they are fully accountable to their respective State Deparment of Education. All of this settles the matter entirely, if you can't see this then it's because you don't understand what public sector and private sector means.

"Charter schools are innovative public schools providing choices for families and greater accountability for results. " Source: US Charter Schools (

What do you have to say about the above source? It directly says that charter schools are public schools, and this is from the largest and most powerful charter school organization I could find. This is how charter schools define themselves. Look you have an opinion without any proof... I've proven my point with references. Don't delete my well scourced material in favor of your personal opinion (which in this case happens to be wrong). Why I have to go through countless revisions and all this painstaking effort to prove something so simple is beyond me. Last, please read because if you don't like my definition you'll want to vandalize this page too, it even states that they are public schools in the lede (and I've never edited this page). Jadon (talk) 22:34, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

Jadon is right. Charter schools are public schools even though they can be initiated by a private organization. There is a difference between the school and the organization itself (e.g. some charter organizations like KIPP have charter schools across several states, which puts them under different sets of regulations for each school). Now the distinction between public and private is a tricky one, but every reliable source I have ever encountered on the subject considers them public schools (with traditional public schools being used to distinguish non-Charter public schools from them), and thus any for any view outside that WP:FRINGE would apply.--Jorfer (talk) 23:13, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
While I think this mostly a PR thing since they are effectively run as private schools I guess there isn't a lot countering in the press or public discussion. And no Jadon, the source you used is not reliable since it's not even cited in the Charter article and the article isn't overt in calling them public schools. I'll still be watching for POV descriptions of Public and private schools. CartoonDiablo (talk) 18:05, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

Time perspective needs to be mended throughout the articleEdit

The author(s) frequently use the term, "Now," to refer to the time of writing. These references need to be changed to an appropriate date as information related to various school voucher programs is changing rapidly. Jeffme (talk) 22:00, 16 September 2012 (UTC)

Yes, and information needs to be updated. For example, in the first paragraph of 4.5.2, what happened with the bill? Kunal Kambo Puri (talk) 07:05, 1 December 2013 (UTC)

For example Steve Jobs paid $5,400 to send his daughter to a private school which seems cheap compared to the public schools fees of $27,000, but that was in 1976 which the article doesn't mention. (talk) 15:28, 11 July 2019 (UTC)

Disputed info (Feb 2014)Edit

Much of the info here is specific to certain jurisdictions, mainly the USA, and is therefore not accurate worldwide. I have tried to make some changes to reflect a more worldwide view in the introductory section. Also, very little in the introductory section was referenced. Please help work towards rectifying this. (talk) 06:13, 8 February 2014 (UTC)

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United States and Political SupportEdit

We should update the citation for the general public's opinion on vouchers--not only does the link not lead to any information on vouchers, the current citation was retrieved back in 2008. Perhaps we could even find new information on US citizens' opinion on vouchers since the American climate is very different now than it was in 2008. Ryanucsd (talk) 01:10, 5 November 2016 (UTC)

United States section revisionsEdit

While all of the information talked about under the United States section is relevant to school vouchers and the United States, there is an unnecessary focus on Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It may be beneficial to readers to know that this city was the first in the US to implement a voucher program, but the information following this fact seems to be irrelevant. In fact, a lot of the information under the United States section (especially under Political Support) seems to lack cohesiveness--it's almost a list of random facts that detracts from the article. Ryanucsd (talk) 01:26, 5 November 2016 (UTC)

Upon further investigation, I'm not sure that that Milwaukee, Wisconsin "factoid" is even correct. Not only is it not cited, but earlier in the article, it's stated that "The oldest continuing school voucher programs existing today in the United States are the Town Tuitioning programs in Vermont[2] and Maine,[3]". Further, these aren't even the first programs in the US, but the oldest, continuing programs. I've left this Milwaukee, Wisconsin paragraph up in case I've somehow misread this section in its entirety. Ryanucsd (talk) 01:36, 5 November 2016 (UTC)

NYT: Voucher schools get bad evaluationsEdit

Here's an article from the NYT which describes three reports on voucher schools, all of them negative. These seem to be well-designed studies. The article also gives some good background on Milton Friedman's influence, more concisely than this entry does it. I'm sure there have been other WP:RS writing about these reports, so you don't have to go with just the NYT. But this is a good overview of all three studies.
Dismal Results From Vouchers Surprise Researchers as DeVos Era Begins
Kevin Carey
New York Times
FEB. 23, 2017

My notes:

Three consecutive reports, each studying one of the largest new state voucher programs, found that vouchers hurt student learning.

Origin of vouchers in 1955 essay by Milton Friedman. Government should pay for schools because democratic society requires common values, literacy and knowledge. But government could give parents vouchers to choose schools, and limit its role to ensuring that schools met minimum standards.

Republicans in 2000s expanded vouchers to 178,000, particularly in IN, LA and OH. Most voucher schools must give standardized tests.

2015 results, Indiana, under Mike Pence, tens of thousands of students, voucher students "significant losses" in math, no improvement in reading.

Feb 2016, Louisiana, lottery, large negative results in reading and math. Older voucher programs had mixed results, modest improvements for some subsets.

June 2017 study by Thomas B. Fordham Institute, large program in Ohio, found “Students who use vouchers to attend private schools have fared worse academically compared to their closely matched peers attending public schools.”

The new voucher studies stand in marked contrast to research findings that well-regulated charter schools in Massachusetts and elsewhere have a strong, positive impact on test scores. But while vouchers and charters are often grouped under the umbrella of “school choice,” the best charters tend to be nonprofit public schools, open to all and accountable to public authorities. The less “private” that school choice programs are, the better they seem to work.

--Nbauman (talk) 18:58, 23 February 2017 (UTC)

Hello Nbauman -- This controversy will take some quality encyclopedic writing. I rather doubt Milton Friedman thought his work would be used to support tuition grants supporting segregation academies. I am sure that he would have concerns about the quality of private schools offering to accept school vouchers. We face the same questions about the choices citizens make when they spend TWIC dollars. Sure, a parent should have the right to choose a child's food or school, but reviews of TWIC spending shows that those dollars don't go for vegetables, but get spent on Cocoa Puffs and Hamburger Helper from the middle aisles of the store. The same danger exists for spending school vouchers on schools of dubious quality. With the demise of Common Core standards, there remains a question of the reliability and validity of standardized test used at private voucher schools. It will take work to develop an article with NPOV problems. Rhadow (talk) 17:21, 17 November 2017 (UTC)

The common good that is served under free government funded schools, in all grades and colleges levels.Edit

In Chile, under Minister of Labor Jose Pinera, guided by policies of the alt-right professor James McGill Buchanan and by his institutional courses of the University of Virginia, all Chilean public universities were forced to become "self-financing", and began a mass purge of teachers, forcing the humanities and liberal arts courses to be edged out in favor of utilitarian fields that produced less inquisitive and questioning students. Source: "Democracy in Chains" by Nancy McLean, 2017, Pub by Penguin Random House, ISBN 8096597811019

Suggested new U.S. articleEdit

Based on School voucher public policy in the United States, with a short summary of that remaining as a subsection under Implementations. Comments? - Snori (talk) 06:50, 3 September 2017 (UTC)

  • Yes Snori -- The press has identified that school vouchers are a reincarnation of tuition grants. A well-referenced article could address this notable topic. Rhadow (talk) 19:32, 16 November 2017 (UTC)

The article includes this unreferenced assertion: "Today, all modern voucher programs prohibit racial discrimination." If a large scale voucher program were enacted today, there is no reason to believe that they could not be used at Bayou Academy or North Sunflower Academy whose student bodies are overwhelmingly white in counties where the population is predominantly black.

Return to "School voucher" page.