The voucher system proposes funding to allow parents school of choice for their children. Whether it be private, public or in some cases home schooling, the parents would either be partially reimbursed, or have the tuition fully paid. According to an article in the Journal of Education Finance, Richard King and Lenford Sutton wrote “proponents contend that open competition would place healthy pressure on both public and private schools” (244). While challengers argue this effort exists to benefit a small sector of the United States, its supporters have already studied success in certain areas of the country and charge that it may be the best strategy to repair the public schools in the speediest manner. Increasing evidence indicate the voucher system may be the answer to incentivizing the public school system therefore bettering results for all children.
At first examination of voucher policies, apprehension began to develop with regard to the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, which is a law that prohibits the government from either proclaiming or adopting a national religion (web). Concerning this statute, many feel that using tax dollars for vouchers would muddle the line between church and state, furthermore, driving re-segregation of public schools (244). However, excluding faith-based organizations from the use of voucher plans that permit tax dollars to be allocated to private schools is an infringement of free exercise and equal protection, part of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which provides that no state shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction “the equal protection of the laws” (web).
According to Derek Neal, author of How Vouchers Could Change the Market for Education, studies collected by the National Center for Educational Statistics, in the early 1980’s illustrate differences in achievement between secondary private and public school students who come from a similar background (26). In addition, follow-up studies done in 1987 showed gain of private school students in achievement and attainment growth to be substantial (26). Furthermore, by 1995, studies confirm significant advances in educational attainment for those students who attended Catholic schools (26).
Further investigational studies expose an important argument for minorities and the benefit of the voucher system. In 1995, several studies reveal larger gains in attainment, for urban African-American and Hispanic students who attended Catholic schools (27). In addition, minority Catholic school students had a twenty-six percent increase in high school graduation rate. Although little gain was shown for those suburban private-school students in attainment, the same demographic was shown at a greater rate to attend college after graduation than those who attended public school (28).
There is an increasing concentration on empirical evidence in reference to school of choice (42). The research consistently finds...