School Choice Progress by State

School Choice Progress by State
November 1, 1997



Both The Heritage Foundation and the Center for Education Reform recently published 1997 editions of their state-by-state reviews of school choice programs. The two publications offer overviews of reform efforts across the country, including information on voucher proposals, charter schools, and recent legislative developments.

The Heritage Foundation report, School Choice Programs: What’s Happening in the States, written by Dorothy B. Hanks, provides a statistical educational profile for each state showing the total number of elementary and secondary public school students, per-pupil spending and rank, pupil/teacher ratio and rank, graduation rate and rank, ACT rank, and NAEP score if applicable.

Also provided for each state in the 79-page report is a background review of recent school choice endeavors, the progress of those efforts in 1996, legislative developments in 1996 and 1997, the position of the governor on school choice, and state contacts in the school choice movement.

A convenient summary table of states grouped by school reform types--public school choice, strong charter laws, private scholarship programs, and so on --is found at the front of the Center for Education Reform’s report, “School Reform in the United States: State by State Summary, Summer 1997.” The 48-page report also provides a narrative for each state, divided into sub-headings such as charter schools, Goals 2000, private scholarships, governance, and private contracting.

The Center defines school reform as efforts that include school choice, contracting out services to private entities, deregulation or decentralization of public schools, and accountability through strong academic assessment mechanisms.

The Heritage Foundation report, School Choice Programs: What’s Happening in the States, is available at The Heritage Foundation Web site, http://www.heritage.org. The Center for Education Reform report, “School Reform in the United States: State by State Summary, Summer 1997,” is available at http://www.edreform.com.