School vouchers: Texas might give vouchers a chance to save their budget

Though they call it the Taxpayers’ Savings Grant and it looks like the Texas politics just might enable the reform.

(…) it would provide grants of up to $5,143 or the cost of private school tuition, whichever is less, for every Texas child who moved from a public school to a private school. Those eligible would be parents whose children are entering either kindergarten or first grade, and those with kids who have been in public schools for at least one year. The plan has significant support from state legislators and some school principals.

(…) the state would save about $3,429 every time a child is transferred. If, as expected, 350,000 students transfer to private schools, the state would save more than $2 billion over the next two years. Whatever money the state saved would stay with the local schools to help alleviate the cuts they face.

The teachers unions will surely be in favor of this reform.

Teacher unions are howling that the proposal would privatize public education (…)

The size of the voucher looks skinny, probably because the $8572 understates the true per student spend. We highly recommend the Cato seminar on this topic Fiscal Undertow: How Public Schools Are Drowning State and Local Budgets, and What to Do about It. From that seminar you will learn what overall US education spending really is, including an estimate of average per student spending of $14,000 – of which only a small portion is actually going to pay teachers (most of the money feeds the education establishment). The 14k is an average so obviously many districts spend much more. E.g., Washington D.C. admits to spending $28,000 per student. The US average private school spend is about $7,000 and tuition about $5,500 (the shortfall made up by private charities).