More choice, better education

Lindsey Burke of the Heritage Foundation examines the evidence surrounding links between school choice and educational outcomes.

Research has shown that school choice improves academic outcomes for participants and for children in nearby public schools, leads to more satisfied parents, and saves money for taxpayers.

Reviewing research on the topic, researcher Greg Forster found that, of all random assignment evaluations conducted to date, 14 out of 18 show that choice improves academic outcomes for students. Moreover, 31 of 33 empirical studies find that school choice improves academic outcomes in public schools.

Forster also found that 25 of 28 empirical studies on the fiscal impact of school choice find school choice saves money. …

… Moving away from institution-based funding to student-based funding is smart policy at every level of education.

As economist Milton Friedman argued, just because we publicly finance education does not mean education has to be delivered through government schools. Friedman suggested separating the funding of education from the delivery of education services—an arrangement that is at the heart of school choice.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...