A new report by Ben Clark of the Beacon Center of Tennessee adds to the growing mountain of evidence that parental choice in education benefits student and taxpayers.
Contrary to the (long disproven) litany by teachers unions that voucher scholarships drain money from public schools, private school scholarships actually save money because on average private school tuition is less expensive than public school per-student expenditures—and Tennessee is no exception. According to Clark:
the average school district would keep enough funding for each student receiving a scholarship to compensate for the departing student’s short-term “fixed costs,” and have an average of $612 to allocate to their remaining students. (p. 3)
If students could use voucher scholarships to leave failing public schools, those schools would still keep more than $1,000 per student even after they left.
Voucher scholarships would also put Tennessee private schools well within financial reach of families. Clark founds that in more than 83 percent of the state’s counties, public school per-pupil expenditures are higher than the median private school tuition.
Tennessee is one of the few remaining states without private school parental choice programs. Clark’s study should go a long way to discrediting one of the leading myths perpetuated by opponents.