Policy Forum

Spreading Freedom and Saving Money

The Fiscal Impact of the D.C. Voucher Program

January 31, 2006 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM EST


Featuring the authors, Susan Aud, Friedman Foundation; Leon Michos, George Washington University; with comments by Kevin Chavous, Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP; Andrew J. Coulson, Cato Institute; and Robert Enlow, Friedman Foundation.

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Parental choice is the most contentious educational policy issue in America, and no choice plan is more closely watched than the District of Columbia’s school voucher program. Critics of parental choice frequently allege that such programs would increase costs and that public schools would suffer.

In “Spreading Freedom and Saving Money,” economists Susan Aud and Leon Michos analyze the impact of the D.C. voucher program and find no support for either allegation. They report that the program saves taxpayers money as it is currently structured and that it would save taxpayers even more money if expanded to include all students. They also find that principals are able to cut spending when enrollment declines. Aud and Michos conclude, however, that the voucher program’s current design is problematic, rewarding D.C. Public Schools for declining enrollment instead of creating incentives for improved fiscal responsibility and accountability.

Former D.C. city councilman Kevin Chavous will conclude the program by sharing his insights on the struggle for educational freedom in the nation’s capital.

Please join us for a discussion of these nationally relevant findings.