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Letter: Evidence shows school vouchers won't cripple public education

By reading the article that headlined last week's Journal, one would think that school vouchers will leave our public education system devastated. The facts get in the way of that argument.

There is empirical evidence, facts, you should look up before you follow through on school board members' requests that you call your legislator. You can find it in a report published on March 2011 by Dr. Greg Forster at Yale University.

Forster's findings were based on all available empirical studies using the best available scientific methods. His findings are quite contrary to what most in the public education realm would want you to believe.

It's important to note that not one study showed any harmful effects by vouchers.

Nineteen studies examined how vouchers affect outcomes in public schools. Eighteen of those found that vouchers improved public schools and one found no impact.

In fact, every empirical study ever conducted in Milwaukee finds that the voucher program improved the public schools there.

Check out the legislatively mandated scientific evaluations of Milwaukee's school vouchers. Claims that vouchers hurt Milwaukee public schools and students cannot be substantiated.

Vouchers cost less. The value of the voucher is a little over half of the average per-pupil amount paid through taxes. This is a net gain for every public school.

Finally, there's the issue over "private schools getting taxpayer money through the voucher system."

If this is wrong, then we should call for an immediate end to the Pell Grant Program and Medicare, both taxpayer funded programs allow people to spend their grants at private colleges or get medical care at private hospitals.

Opinion should be based on knowledge. Knowledge should be based on facts. Facts matter.

Education is too important for anything less.