Public Policy

Whose Turn Now? The Enactment & Expansion of Private School Choice Programs across the US


Private school choice policies have been enacted and expanded across the United States since the 1990s. Why have some states adopted and expanded this education reform while others have demurred? Which states are more likely to adopt specific types of private school choice initiatives in the coming years? We present the results of an exploratory empirical analysis of data through 2016 examining these questions. The results from our most preferred statistical model further predict which states are more and less likely to take action towards such policies in subsequent years. The political factors involving Republican control of the governorship and legislature, prevalence of minority students in the K-12 population and share of private school enrollment in the state prove to be highly predictive factors in school choice adoption. The economic factor of a comparatively low state per-capita GDP also consistently predicts school choice policy adoption in our models.


Thumbnail image of whose turn now for APSA 2022.pdf

Supplementary weblinks

School Choice Demonstration Project
Portal for the posting of research reports and working papers of the School Choice Demonstration Project at the University of Arkansas Department of Education Reform. The SCDP produces non-partisan, unbiased scientific studies of what happens to students, families, schools and communities when parents are given more schooling options for their children. SCDP research covers the effects of various private school choice programs and public charter school financing in the U.S.


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