The Reason Foundation
This report evaluates the recent rise of privatization efforts in various sectors; on the education front, it chronicles the expansion of school choice in its various forms. The news is good: more voucher programs, public charter schools, tax credits, special needs scholarships, and incidents of weighted student funding have furthered the cause of deregulation in significant ways. For example, student participation in publicly-funded private school choice, including voucher programs and tax credits, has increased 84 percent over the last five years. On the public front, there were 1.2 million students being served by 4,100 charter schools during 2007-8. Not surprisingly, charters have the largest market share of students in New Orleans, clocking in at 57 percent of schools. Southfield, Minnesota; Dayton, Ohio; and Washington, D.C. tied for second place with 27 percent of their students enrolled in charters. Funding schemes are seeing deregulation, too. In Baltimore, school chief Andres Alonso has started experimenting with new weighted funding formulas; Alonso will give principals more autonomy over hiring and firing, as well as cut over three hundred jobs and close a $50 million shortfall. All this and more can be found in this expansive study.