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What School Vouchers Are Essay

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What School Vouchers Are

The public has been searching for ways to reform the educational structure that is currently established within the United States. The public school system has been accused of being detrimental to the education of our societies children. The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of school vouchers, as a type of educational reform, on all aspects of society. It has already been proven that “family background, economic status and place of residence” all help to determine the amount of success a child has at a particular school (Raywid, 1989, p. 7). Can it consequently be expected that the choice of which particular school to go to will also make a difference in the child’s success?

School Vouchers are a form of educational reform that redirects the flow of funding from school districts to individual families (Coulson, 1998). These vouchers give parents the opportunity to send their child to a private school with the help of state money. Vouchers help to pay all or part of the tuition for families that choose a private school rather than the public school system.

What School Vouchers Are Supposed to Help

Currently, there are only two voucher programs that exist within the United States. However, the topic is of much debate in communities around the country. Both the Milwaukee program and the Cleveland program are meant to help lower income families receive the best available education (Maranto, Milliman, Hess, & Gresham, 1999, p. 19). These school vouchers are supported on the basis that education will be improved for all children given parental choice and a competition between pubic and private schools (Coulson, 1998). This reform represents a “shift of educational auth...


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... case for public schools of choice. Bloomington, Indiana: Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation.

Raywid discusses the idea of school choice within public schools. This is a little different from school vouchers; however, it raises some of the same issues.

Smith, K., & Meier, K. (1995). The case against school choice. London, England: M.E. Sharpe.

Smith and Meier discuss many cons to the school voucher debate. They strongly oppose school choice as a means of school reform.

“School Choice.” The American Heritage College Dictionary. 40th ed. 2002.
School vouchers: The wrong choice for public education. (2001). Retrieved October 8, 2003 from http://www.Anti-Defamation League, 2001.org/vouchers/print.asp

The Anti-Defamation League discusses the idea that school vouchers threaten the American value of separation between church and state.


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