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Background on Education


School Choice

�School Choice� generally refers to a school district allowing parents to decide which school within the district to send their kids to. The political issue is whether to allow the choice to include private schools, parochial schools, and home schooling at taxpayer expense. Taxpayer funding of parochial schools potentially violates the Constitutional separation of church and state. Taxpayer funding of private schools is controversial because it subsidizes parents who are currently paying for private schools themselves, and are usually more wealthy than the average public school family.

Charter Schools

Vouchers

�Vouchers� are a means of implementing school choice -- parents are given a �voucher� by the school district, which entitles them to, say, $4,000 applicable to either public school or private school tuition. The value of the voucher is generally lower than the cost of one year of public education (which averages $5,200), so private schools (where tuition averages $8,500) may require cash payment in addition to the voucher.

Education Buzzwords

Generally, any reference to �standards,� or especially to dealing with �failing schools�, implies support of school vouchers. Generally, any reference to �smaller classrooms,� or especially to �building public schools�, implies opposition to funding private schools.

Background documents

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NCLB textbook
Anti NCLB
Charter Schools
School Vouchers
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