According to an editorial in The Panama City News Herald, Florida’s Office of Program Policy Analysis and Governmental Accountability (OPPAGA) found that the state’s school choice programs saved taxpayers almost $39 million last year.
The group’s study points out that Florida public schools saved over $6,100 for every one of the 21,493 students that participated in the school choice program; altogether saving the state $118 Million in school costs for the 2007-2008 school year.
Despite some criticism of the OPPAGA study’s results, research done by Florida TaxWatch, and the Collins Center for Public Policy at Florida State University, confirms that school choice is indeed saving taxpayers serious money.
Also cited is a 2007 Friedman Foundation study, which found-
“Instructional spending per student consistently increased in all public school districts and states that were subject to voucher programs. School choice has not prevented those states and districts from spending more on the students who remain in public schools.”
Fifteen states around the nation have implemented school choice programs and reaped similar rewards in saved money, and in improved student performance. Most important is that these school choice programs have provided parents the opportunity to decide whether a public, private, or religious school will best meet the needs of their child.
If school choice can improve the lives of families in Florida, it can do the same in South Carolina. As the economy struggles, and funds grow increasingly short, South Carolina lawmakers would do well to consider the financial and academic boon that school choice has been to Florida, and implement similar measures here.
Click here to read the editorial in the online edition of The Panama City News Herald
Click here to read the Friedman Foundation study about the success of school choice in Florida
Click here to read about how school choice programs are helping parents and students in fifteen other states.