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School Choice Has Saved $444 Million

(Vocus/PRWEB ) May 9, 2007 -- A landmark new study finds that school
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 choice programs throughout the country generated nearly $444 million in net savings to state and local budgets from 1990 to 2006. Contrary to opponents' predictions, the analysis also finds that instructional spending per student has consistently gone up in all affected public school districts and states.

 “  Programs giving parents freedom to choose in their child's education are growing rapidly in number and size  
"School choice saves. It saves children, and now we have empirical evidence that it saves money," said Robert Enlow, executive director and COO of the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation. "In the face of $444 million in savings, another excuse to deny children a quality education
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 has vanished before our eyes."

We've seen seven school choice programs start in just the last year because evidence of the benefits are growing just as rapidly. Released by the Friedman Foundation, "Education by the Numbers: The Fiscal Effect of School Choice Programs, 1990-2006" provides the first comprehensive analysis of how the nation's school choice programs have affected state and public school districts. Of the 12 voucher and tax-credit scholarship programs that began operations before 2006, every program is at least fiscally neutral, and most produce substantial savings. Seven more programs have been created since 2006.

"Programs giving parents freedom to choose in their child's education
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are growing rapidly in number and size," said Dr. Susan Aud, author of the study and a Friedman Foundation senior fellow. "And a program's fiscal impact has become an important political issue. This brings empirical evidence to that debate."

For years, opponents have claimed that school choice reduces spending in public schools. Yet the study's analysis of the states and school districts where school choice is available finds that this is not the case. Instructional spending in areas affected by school choice has uniformly increased.

"Opponents of educational freedom will find it tougher to bend the truth. Our research adheres to the highest standards of scientific rigor," said Enlow. "We've seen seven school choice programs start in just the last year because evidence of the benefits are growing just as rapidly."

The Friedman Foundation has provided analysis to many states on the fiscal effect of proposed school choice measures. Consistently, the studies -- for states like Arizona, New Hampshire, Utah, Virginia, Minnesota and Kentucky -- point to substantial savings.

The study can be downloaded at http://www.friedmanfoundation.org/friedman/research/ShowResearchItem.do?id=10079.

Robert Fanger
Director of Communications
Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation
1 American Square, Suite 2420
Indianapolis, IN 46282
Phone: 317-681-0745
Cell: 317-410-7668
http://www.friedmanfoundation.org/


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