Educational choice allows parents to make choices for their children's education rather than relying on the hope that the traditional education monopoly of forcing children to attend schools according to where they live will benefit all children equally. With the introduction of choice, competition is likely to increase both quality and efficiency in publicly funded education.
"Straight Talk on Public Education" by Byron Schlomach includes a number of finance and performance-related statistics, mainly from Oklahoma but also placed in a national and international context, as well as a short history of public education in the United States. In addition, the paper reviews the current state of public education in the United States and seeks to dispel several myths that have arisen regarding public education. Summary, Part 1 and Summary, Part 2.
ESAs give parents the choice of how to educate their child at a significantly lower cost to the taxpayer.
"A Universal Education Savings Account Proposal: Fiscal Implications and Model Legislation" by Byron Schlomach, Vance H. Fried, and Benjamin Lepak proposes a $4,500 ESA for every school-age child in Oklahoma, with net savings for the state. It recommends specifics of what purchases are allowable under an ESA and discusses how the program would be funded, how it would be administered, and academic accountability. Summary
"A Money-Saving Education Savings Account (ESA) Proposal" by Byron Schlomach and Vance H. Fried proposes a very simple $3,000 ESA for any child who has matriculated in Oklahoma's public schools continuously for 2 or more years. This would save the state about $2,000 per participating student and local districts $1,000 - $2,000 per participating student.
"A Truly Universal Education Savings Account Proposal, Including Fiscal Implications" by Byron Schlomach and Vance H. Fried proposes a $4,500 ESA for every school-age child in Oklahoma that parents can supplement. It recommends specifics of what purchases are allowable under an ESA. It discusses how the program would be funded, how it would be administered, and academic accountability. Summary
"Designing an Education Savings Account 2016" by Byron Schlomach and Vance H. Fried provides a comprehensive framework for an Oklahoma ESA program - an update of an earlier publication. Note: The currently posted version of this paper corrects an error in Table 1 on page 2. Summary
"Education Savings Accounts and Improving Oklahoma Student Achievement" by Jonathan Butcher gives an overview of Arizona's pioneering efforts with ESAs and the benefits to Oklahoma of creating its own ESA.program. Summary