K-12 Voucher Programs and Education Policy


  • Dan Laitsch Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development




Attitudes, Educational Finance, Educational Vouchers, Elementary Secondary Education, Equal Education, Legislators, Policy Formation, School Choice


Since the 1983 report, A Nation at Risk, the performance of public schools has been increasingly scrutinized, and a variety of reforms designed to increase student achievement enacted. Among the reforms discussed, much attention has focused on increasing choice and competition in education. While the effectiveness of market oriented reforms have been widely debated, little research has been completed that examines policy maker attitudes toward market reform of education. This study used a researcher designed survey to examine policy maker attitudes toward education and education reform in general, as well as the issue of vouchers more specifically. Findings suggest that policy makers generally accept the market arguments used by voucher supporters, but are also sympathetic to equity concerns and funding issues raised by voucher opponents. Additionally, while more policy makers responding to this survey supported some type of voucher program than opposed vouchers, when viewed in the broader context of reform options, vouchers did not rate highly.


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Author Biography

Dan Laitsch, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development

Dan Laitsch is Senior Policy Analyst for the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. He was previously Associate Director of the State Issues Clearinghouse at the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, and has taught high school English at a number of alternative schools in Fairfax County, including six years with the Enterprise School in Vienna, VA. He has co-taught middle school English classes in Japan as part of the Japan Exchange Teacher Program. He holds BA in English from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, an M.Ed. in Social Foundations of Education from the University of Virginia, and a Ph.D. in Education Policy from American University in Washington, DC. This paper is based on the work of his dissertation research. Laitsch's current interests include teacher quality; research use in, and impact on, education policy; school effectiveness; and public school reform issues.




How to Cite

Laitsch, D. (2002). K-12 Voucher Programs and Education Policy. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 10, 48. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.v10n48.2002