Study: No Academic Difference For Voucher Students

Apr 17, 2015

A new report finds statistical differences in academic outcomes for Indiana students using school vouchers versus their public school counterparts.
Credit chancadoodle / https://www.flickr.com/photos/57713420@N07/

New research has added fuel to one of the most heated debates on Indiana’s education scene- the validity of the state’s voucher program.

Indiana has one of the biggest school voucher programs in the country, with close to 30,000 participants receiving public funds to attend private schools.

But according to a report released Thursday from the bipartisan Center for Tax and Budget Accountability in Chicago, there’s no statistical evidence that students using those vouchers see any better academic outcomes than their peers in public schools.

The study compared Indiana’s program with those in Milwaukee, Cleveland and Washington, D.C. – some of the oldest voucher programs in the country – where they say they found similar results.

Many school choice advocates say they disagree with the report’s findings, including Governor Mike Pence. Vouchers are a key part of the governor’s education vision.

"It’s an ‘all of the above strategy.’ I truly do believe there’s nothing that ails education in Indiana that can’t be fixed if we give our teachers more freedom to teach and if we give our parents more choices," says Pence.

Indiana’s voucher program has seen an  almost 50-percent increase in participation over the last year.