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NEXT L.A. | Ideas: School Choice

$3,000 Voucher Seen as a Ticket to Private School

June 04, 1996

The average private school tuition of $3,116 is lower than many believe, according to the Cato Institute in Washington, which argues that offering a school voucher of $3,000 would be enough to let most families enroll children in private schools.

About two-thirds of American private schools charge tuition of $2,500 or less, a briefing paper from the libertarian group says.

For elementary schools the average is $2,178, for secondary schools $4,578, and for combined schools $4,266.

Says the paper:

"Does that mean that every American child, $3,000 voucher in hand, could have a quality private education immediately? Clearly not, but that is not the point.

"Choice would set in motion a dynamic process of change that, over time, would almost certainly result in new options and require government schools to attract students.

"Schools would expand. New schools would be established. Some schools might lower their tuition or offer scholarships. New teaching methods would be tested and new technologies employed. And government schools would compete to stay open."

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