What is Giving Compass?
We connect donors to learning resources and ways to support community-led solutions. Learn more about us.
Giving Compass' Take:
• As Governing magazine explores, Arizona's education savings accounts — a variation on vouchers — have been used overwhelmingly by families whose children were already attending high-quality public schools.
• No matter where you stand on the voucher debate, how can donors help ensure more equality in our educational system?
• Here's a different perspective on vouchers, arguing that they may be a ticket to safer schools.
The term “school choice” can refer to a wide range of alternatives to the traditional public school. When it comes to vouchers, that term usually means a promise to provide children trapped in poor-performing district schools the resources to switch to charter or private schools that can provide them with a better education.
In Arizona, that has turned out to be, in some regards, a false promise. Arizona’s education savings accounts -- a variation on vouchers that has been widely imitated and studied by other states -- have been used overwhelmingly by families whose children were already attending high-quality public schools. Seventy percent of the funds went to students who left schools that received ratings of A or B from the state, according to an analysis by The Arizona Republic. That’s 10 times the amount that followed those leaving schools rated D or F -- the kids who were supposed to be the main beneficiaries.
Critics of the education savings accounts, or ESAs, say that wealthier white parents are getting unneeded subsidies from the state, leaving behind low-income and Latino children.
Read the full article about school vouchers by Alan Greenblatt at Governing magazine.