Giving Compass Take:

· The debate over school voucher programs' success continues as research shows mixed results.  

· Do voucher programs hurt public schools or push them to improve? Do voucher programs help students?

· Read more about the debate over school voucher programs.

While the voucher concept has, in a sense, long been a feature of higher education, the K-12 school voucher debate has been going on for more than two decades now and shows little sign of stopping. States handle the idea in various ways, with some using vouchers, others using tax credit tuition programs, and some using neither. However, while the notion that school choice should be available in some form is growing in acceptance and seems to be increasing public school performance because of the forced competition, uneasiness with the idea remains on both the public and private sides of the equation.

Some critics say that vouchers and tax credits weaken public schools by siphoning funds that would normally flow to public schools and giving them to private schools instead. The same argument is often made with regard to charter schools. However, proponents argue taxpayer funds come from the pockets of private school, charter school and homeschool parents, as well, and that public schools should not assume the funds belong to them. Instead, they counter that public schools should use their funds more wisely, especially as the cost per pupil to educate students at private schools is usually much lower than public schools.

Read the full article about the debate over the value of school vouchers by Amelia Harper at Education Dive.