By Josh Cunningham

Since 2011, 49 states have considered school choice legislation in some form. This has raised many questions about choice. Does school competition change anything? How do other states fund charter school facilities? What is the fiscal impact of vouchers? Are scholarship tax credits constitutional? How do parents choose schools? Why so many choices?

teacher at blackboardNCSL addresses each of these questions and much more in a new first-of-its-kind report, Comprehensive School Choice: A Guide for Legislators. While numerous researchers, advocates and think tanks have explored the many angles of school choice, this is the first guide written exclusively for state legislators and legislative staff that covers the issue of school choice in such depth.

Among the facets of school choice policy covered in this guide are:

  • In-depth explanations of both charter school and private school choice policy options and what questions legislators can be asking in their states
  • Review of the major research findings on how different school choice policies impact student performance
  • The complexity of measuring the fiscal impact of vouchers and scholarship tax credits
  • The constitutional issues surrounding school vouchers
  • The role of parent empowerment in school choice, including how parents choose schools, the effects of competition on school performance and giving parents a greater say in how their child’s school is operated through the use of policies such as the parent trigger
  • How charter schools, school vouchers and scholarship tax credit programs approach their shared challenges in very different ways
Posted in: Public Policy
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This blog offers updates on the National Conference of State Legislatures' research and training, the latest on federalism and the state legislative institution, and posts about state legislators and legislative staff. The blog is edited by NCSL staff and written primarily by NCSL's experts on public policy and the state legislative institution.


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