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NEPC Review: K-12 School Choice Calculator (Reason Foundation and EdChoice, January 2024)

Reason Foundation and EdChoice’s Fiscal Research and Education Center offer a calculator as a tool to assist state policymakers and choice advocates in providing more accurate estimates of the expenses of adopting publicly financed private-school choice (i.e., voucher) programs. While the calculator embeds a reasonable set of assumptions, it fails to solve the central problem state policymakers face: How are they to determine estimates of students who will enroll, and what percentage of them will be students leaving public versus private schools? Along with other shortcomings, the calculator and associated materials provide little guidance to help users devise those estimates, and there is little empirical research available on the topic. What is more reliably clear is that using the calculator can reveal to policymakers the high additional expenditures triggered when large numbers of students already enrolled in private schools accept proffered public subsidies through voucher, education savings account, or tuition tax credit programs.

Suggested Citation: Baker, B.D. (2024). NEPC review: K-12 school choice calculator. Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center. Retrieved [date] from

Document Reviewed:

K-12 School Choice Calculator

Martin Lueken
Reason Foundation and EdChoice