Out of Control Policy Blog

Trends in Educational School Choice, Charter Schools and Student-Based Budgeting

Earlier today, Reason Foundation released the Education section of their Annual Privatization Report – a publication 27 years in the making. This most recent edition provides evidence that the upward trend in educational school choice continues to grow nationwide.

In the subsection, School Choice Roundup in the States, thirteen states are highlighted for creating brand new school choice programs and expanding existing school choice programs in 2013. To date a total of 48 school choice programs – including tax-credit scholarship programs, individual tax credit/deduction programs, and voucher programs – are available to children and their families across the United States and the District of Columbia.

School Choice Market Share for 2013 shows participation in the nation’s largest tax-credit scholarship programs, voucher programs, and individual tax credit programs. As of 2013, Florida’s Tax-Credit Scholarship program and the state’s McCay Voucher program have the highest participation rates. Over 50,000 students participate in the sunshine state’s Tax-Credit Scholarship program and more than 25,000 students receive school choice vouchers. This subsection also covers the nation’s growth in school district charter school market share and charter enrollment.

As of 2013 more than 2.5 million students attend charter school in 42 states and the District of Columbia, with New Orleans having the highest share of public charter school students enrolled in the district.

The subsection, Weighted Student Formula in the States 2013, gives an overview of school funding portability and how this school finance framework is being used in 16 school districts across the country. It also lists best practices that district administrators and education reformers can use as a guide to implement the ideal school reform package.

Finally, Expanding School Funding Portability Across the U.S. explores how 17 school districts are experimenting with their own school funding portability models with pilot programs. Also covered is New Orleans’ Recovery School District (RSD), which has abandoned the traditional model of a school district. Instead RSD has formed a network of independently run charter and charter-like schools, where funding follows each child to the school of their choice. This nuanced approach, that emphasizes school-level autonomy and accountability, has expanded to three additional regions, also covered in this subsection.

To learn more about exciting new developments in education and school choice, read more in Reason Foundation’s Annual Privatization Report 2014: Education.

Katie Furtick is Policy Analyst


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