School vouchers don’t drain money from public schools, writes Terry Moe in the New York Times.
In a typical voucher program, the cost of the voucher (say, $4,500) is far lower than the average amount the public schools spend on each student (say, $8,000). This means that when students go private, only part of the money budgeted for their education goes with them. The remainder stays in the government’s pocket. If these savings were put back into the public schools, the schools would actually have more money per child. And the greater the number of students using vouchers, the greater the increase in spending per child could be.
It’s not hard to design a voucher program for low-income students that saves more than it costs; the savings can be funneled back to the public schools.