Education voucher programs, although controversial, not only improve academic performance through school choice, but they have a significant impact on property values, housing values, and commercial property values, according to a new analysis by the National Center for Policy Analysis.
The NCPA analysis uses the example of the low-performing Edgewood Independent School District in San Antonio, TX, in which the Children’s Educational Opportunity Foundation funded a $52.4 million voucher program for students in the district from 1998 – 2008. Edgewood’s four-year graduation rate peaked at 80 percent in 2004; in 2007 college attendance rates for voucher students were 93 percent.
“Tuition voucher programs exist to improve academic performance through school choice,” said NCPA Senior Fellow and author of the analysis, John D. Merrifield. “Evidence shows that voucher students weren’t the only ones who benefited from the program. The students who remained in Edgewood public schools benefited from increased funding resources due to increased property values and improvements in the public schools in response to increased competition.”