School vouchers are certificates that parents can use to help them pay for their children’s education. This school voucher is given in lieu of attending the public school for which they were assigned. The school voucher carries a monetary value and the parents can use that as they see fit to educate their child. The children can go to a private school of their choice. Sometimes the vouchers are provided by the government or by private organizations, and sometimes it is a combination of the two.
By offering a family a school voucher, they have the potential of bettering their child’s education. Some believe this is a very effective way to help lower income families get more involved in their child’s education. Activists for school vouchers feel that parents must be involved in their children’s education to make it a success. Administrators often hope that schools that lose registrants because of school vouchers will see there are problems with their school and fix those problems.
Issuing school vouchers to parents was the brainchild of economist Milton Friedman. He felt that by offering parents a choice in education, the private schools would be able to compete with public schools. Some have felt that school vouchers would separate education from the government while also helping improve the plight of the inner-city school system.
Most activists of school vouchers feel that education should be free, no matter which route the parents choose to take. By only offering free education to students who attend public schools, many feel that there is no educational freedom.
Wisconsin is a state that offers school vouchers and in Milwaukee alone, it is estimated that around 15,000 children use the vouchers to attend the private school of their choice. Cleveland, Ohio saw a jump in the number of students taking school vouchers this year with approximately 3,600 students choosing this option.