After 50 years, do the arguments for K- 12 vouchers still hold?
In 1955, Milton Friedman authored a foundational paper proposing a shift in funding and governance mechanisms for public K-12 schools, suggesting that parents be awarded tuition vouchers that they could use to pay for private sector education services for their children, rather than relying on government provided neighborhood schools. Friedman theorized three cases in which such a system might fail, requiring greater involvement of the government in the education system: the presence of a natural monopoly; substantial neighborhood effects; and a breakdown in free exchange. This article examines these concerns by applying more than 25 years of school choice research in an attempt to answer the question, After 60 years, do the arguments for K-12 vouchers still hold? Findings cited in this article suggest that Friedman was correct to be concerned about possible deleterious effects that may arise from a privatized system.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).