In a recent editorial, the Dallas Morning News inveighed against expanding educational choice in Texas, arguing that legislative leaders should “focus on improving public schools” instead. What the DMN editorial board means, of course, is “spend more money,” as they make clear in the penultimate paragraph. Yet although the national average annual expenditure per pupil for district school students has, after adjusting for inflation, nearly tripled in the last forty years, student performance remains flat. Moreover, there is little evidence that merely increasing spending improves school performance or student outcomes. Nevertheless, the DMN has reservations about the possible effects of expanding educational choice:
One proposal would create education savings accounts. If a parent decides against public schools, the money that would have gone with the student to the local school district would instead go to the account, for parents to use on private school.
That could decimate public schools. What about the quality of education for the students left behind?