Letter to the Editor
On Sunday, January 15, 2023, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal published a letter to the editor response to my January 7th column from a pro-voucher Economics Professor at Texas Tech. Below is my response to his letter, which will be published Sunday, January 22.
In his recent letter (Responding with studies on school choice results, Jan. 15), Alexander Salter claimed I did not cite, or discuss any studies in my most recent piece. A careful reader would have found a reference to the February 2022 column entitled, “Is it liberty or is it a red herring?” In that piece, resounding scholarship was presented, which suggested voucher programs do not offer anything more advantageous than our public schools. The February column did not, however, suggest “studies” conducted by pro-voucher think-tanks like EdChoice, the Educational Freedom Institute, or Texas Public Policy Foundation that further their echo chambers.
To update the data from the February column, though, from last November, Indiana University found “almost all impacts in early studies tended to be modest, at best, but were also based on rather small programs… As programs grew in size, the results turned negative, often to a remarkably large degree virtually unrivaled in education research.”
Furthermore, Salter listed EdChoice’s findings on how cost-effective voucher programs are to the taxpayer. Rigorous scholarship refutes this. The National Education Policy Center found “the indirect cost of vouchers would increase system spending…between 11% and 33% above” what is currently spent.
The verdict is in; voucher programs do not cause higher student achievement nor do they lower cost for taxpayers.
A debate on education that is foundational to our future should be held to the highest of academic standards, not watered down with cute catchphrases and cherry-picked evidence.