Does school choice improve public, government-run schools?
Yes. Public schools pay attention when school choice is on the table. For example, even here in Florida, public schools identified as failing are already publicizing their efforts to improve by hiring more teachers, increasing funds for after-school tutoring and lowering class sizes. One superintendent, Earl Lennard of Hillsborough County, even vowed publicly to take a five percent pay cut if any of his county’s schools received a failing grade. Information gathered through the Freedom of Information Act showed that in Escambia County, site of Florida’s first two failing schools where vouchers were offered officials responded to school choice by providing tutoring on Saturday, hiring new teachers, and requiring parent teacher conferences each grading period. In Milwaukee, Cleveland, San Antonio and Albany, New York, school choice has had a similar positive impact on public schools. The Milwaukee Public School Board, in addition to closing six schools identified as failing, now guarante