Sunday, February 04, 2007

Milton Friedman must be smiling...

...about this news from Utah.

Nation's First Universal School Voucher Program Approved by Utah Lawmakers

The Utah House of Representatives narrowly passed a School Voucher program in a 38 to 37 vote today, which would provide every child in the state with a school voucher worth between $500 and $3,000. If approved by the Senate the bill will become America's first universal statewide voucher program.

"The significance of this bill cannot be overestimated," said Andrew J. Coulson, Director of the Cato Institute's Center for Educational Freedom based in Washington DC. "If passed, it will be an unprecedented step forward for educational freedom in America."

Caulson cautioned, however, that dramatic results should not be expected overnight. "In other nations that have adopted similar school choice programs, it has taken five or ten years for large numbers of new schools to be created, and for the good ones to be weeded out from the bad."...

Coulson also observed that the maximum value of Utah's school vouchers would be only $3,000, only about half of what Utah spends per pupil in its public schools. "Bill 148 would still leave private schools at a considerable financial disadvantage compared to their state-run counterparts,and that would inhibit competition between the public and private sectors and retard innovation."