Working Paper: What Next for Vouchers in Louisiana?

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Working Paper: What Next for Vouchers in Louisiana?

In "Vouchers Come to Louisiana," Amber Peterson, an official with the Louisiana Department of Education who recently completed a master's degree in education policy at Teachers College, provides a concise, balanced assessment of the state's voucher program. Peterson explains the evolution of the program, eligibility requirements for both students and schools, distribution of participating private schools throughout the state, outreach efforts by the state, barriers to enrollment, and problems with school assessment.

By Amber Peterson
Working Paper No. 227
National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education

Milton Friedman's proposal in 1955 for vouchers allowing students to attend private schools with public dollars preceded Albert Shanker's endorsement of charter schools by more than three decades. Yet vouchers took a back seat to charter schools. By 2010, full-fledged voucher programs existed in only Cleveland, Milwaukee, New Orleans, and Washington, D.C., while charter schools numbered more than 5,200 and dotted nearly every major city across the country. Vouchers, however, have recently gained significant ground with the introduction of statewide programs in Indiana in 2011, Louisiana in 2012, and Nevada in 2015.

In "Vouchers Come to Louisiana," Amber Peterson, an official with the Louisiana Department of Education who recently completed a master's degree in education policy at Teachers College, provides a concise, balanced assessment of the state's voucher program. Peterson explains the evolution of the program, eligibility requirements for both students and schools, distribution of participating private schools throughout the state, outreach efforts by the state, barriers to enrollment, and problems with school assessment.

In plain terms, this paper differentiates vouchers from charter schools and conveys the logistical and political challenges of implementing a statewide voucher system.

View paper

Published Monday, Nov. 9, 2015

Working Paper: What Next for Vouchers in Louisiana?

By Amber Peterson
Working Paper No. 227
National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education

Milton Friedman's proposal in 1955 for vouchers allowing students to attend private schools with public dollars preceded Albert Shanker's endorsement of charter schools by more than three decades. Yet vouchers took a back seat to charter schools. By 2010, full-fledged voucher programs existed in only Cleveland, Milwaukee, New Orleans, and Washington, D.C., while charter schools numbered more than 5,200 and dotted nearly every major city across the country. Vouchers, however, have recently gained significant ground with the introduction of statewide programs in Indiana in 2011, Louisiana in 2012, and Nevada in 2015.

In "Vouchers Come to Louisiana," Amber Peterson, an official with the Louisiana Department of Education who recently completed a master's degree in education policy at Teachers College, provides a concise, balanced assessment of the state's voucher program. Peterson explains the evolution of the program, eligibility requirements for both students and schools, distribution of participating private schools throughout the state, outreach efforts by the state, barriers to enrollment, and problems with school assessment.

In plain terms, this paper differentiates vouchers from charter schools and conveys the logistical and political challenges of implementing a statewide voucher system.

View paper

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