70. Education Privatization: The Attitudes and Experiences of School Superintendents

Author: Clive R. Belfield and Amy Wootten

This paper reports the findings from an internet survey of 2,318 school superintendents across the U.S. The survey suggests four conclusions. First, private contracts for a range of educational services are widespread. Second, such contracting has a clear line of demarcation at contracting with an educational management organization for instructional services. Such contracts are infrequent; they are anticipated to provoke considerable opposition from almost all constituents; and even when undertaken are not regarded with much enthusiasm or approbation. Third, school superintendents appear divided as to the merits of contracting for private services: about half would definitely not consider it as an option, but an equivalent number are open to the possibility of privatization of instructional services. Fourth, although there is general acceptance of the importance of Federal initiatives to improve the quality of education, enhancing the competence of the teaching profession clearly supercedes policies that encourage test score accountability and parental involvement.

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69. Educational Management Organizations and the Development of Professional Community in Charter Schools
Author: Katrina Bulkley and Jennifer Hicks

This paper examines the ways in which entities external to schools, in this case for-profit educational management organizations (EMOs), can influence the development of school professional community. Drawing on case studies of six charter schools operated by three EMOs, we examine the presence of the five elements of professional community (Kruse, Louis, & Bryk, 1995), supports and barriers to the development of professional community, and the role of EMOs in influencing those supports and barriers. We found that EMO staff can influence professional community in important ways, through the design of their programs (including the structures that they set up for the use of time and staffing) and their informal relationships with schools (including their roles as “cheerleaders,” constructive critics, flexible keepers of the model, and reliable managers). The findings of this study have important implications for the potential of
other central entities, including school districts, to influence professional community.
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68. Evaluating Private Higher Education in the Philippines: The Case for Choice, Equity and Efficiency
Author: Charisse Gulosino

Private higher education has long dominated higher education systems in the Philippines, considered as one of the highest rates of privatization in the world. The focus of this paper is to provide a comprehensive picture of the nature and extent of private higher education in the Philippines. Elements of commonality as well as differences are highlighted, along with the challenges faced by private institutions of higher education. From this evidence, it is essential to consider the role of private higher education and show how, why and where the private education sector is expanding in scope and number. In this paper, the task of exploring private higher education from the Philippine experience breaks down in several parts: sourcing of funds, range of tuition and courses of study, per student costs, student destinations in terms of employability, and other key economic features of non-profit /for-profit institutions vis-à-vis public institutions. The latter part of the paper analyses several emerging issues in higher education as the country meets the challenge for global competitiveness. Pertinent to this paper’s analysis is Levin’s comprehensive criteria on evaluating privatization, namely: choice, competition, equity and efficiency.
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67. An Interview with Milton Friedman on Education
Author: Pearl Kane

Professor Pearl Kane interviews Professor Milton Friedman about education privatization. Professor Friedman proposed education vouchers in his book Capitalism and Freedom , published in 1962. He has been an energetic advocate of vouchers and freedom of choice in schooling.
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66. Capitalization under School Choice Programs: Are the Winners Really the Losers?
Author: Randall Rebeck

This paper examines the capitalization effects of public school choice programs. Under an inter-district open enrollment program, one would expect changes in local property values caused by the weakening of local monopolies for the provision of free schooling. Using data from Minnesota, I find that property tax bases decline in desirable districts that accept transfer students, whereas property tax bases increase in districts where students are able to transfer to preferred districts. The capitalization effects are of sufficient magnitude that a district losing students because of transferring may not actually lose much financially, or may even have a moderate gain, as a result of school choice. The converse is true for a district gaining transfer students. These effects may undermine attempts to use a school choice program as a means of financially punishing or rewarding districts based on preexisting differences in popularity.
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65. Another Look at the New York City School Voucher Experiment
Author: Alan B. Krueger and Pei Zhu

This paper reexamines data from the New York City school choice program, the largest and best implemented private school scholarship experiment yet conducted. In the experiment, low-income public school students in grades K-4 were eligible to participate in a series of lotteries for a private school scholarship. Data were collected from students and their parents at baseline, and in the Spring of each of the next three years. Students with missing baseline test scores, which encompasses all those who were initially in Kindergarten and 11 percent of those initially in grades 1-4, were excluded from previous analysis of achievement, even though these students were tested in the follow-up years. In principle, random assignment would be expected to lead treatment status to be uncorrelated with all baseline characteristics. Including students with missing baseline test scores increases the sample size by 44 percent. For African American students, the only group to show a significant, positive effect of vouchers on achievement in past studies, the difference in average follow-up test scores between the treatment group (those offered a voucher) and control group (those not offered a voucher) becomes statistically insignificant at the 0.05 level and much smaller if the full sample is used. In addition, the effect of vouchers is found to be sensitive to the particular way race/ethnicity is defined. Previously, race was assigned according to the racial/ethnic category of the child’s mother. If children with a Black (non-Hispanic) father are added to the sample of children with a Black (non-Hispanic) mother, the effect of vouchers is smaller and statistically insignificant at conventional levels.
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64. Home Schooling: School Choice and Women’s Time Use
Author: Eric Isenberg

Home schooling has grown rapidly and now comprises over two percent of school children. I model home schooling choice using household-level data from the 1996 and 1999 National Household Education Survey and, in a separate model, district-level data from Wisconsin. For families living in metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), the likelihood of home schooling for high-income parents increases as academic school quality decreases; for low-income parents, as the percentage of school funds spent at the local level decreases. Outside MSAs, home schooling is popular among evangelical Protestants, although through peer effects or political influence the elasticity of home schooling demand with respect to the local percentage of evangelical Protestants decreases globally. Household characteristics are also important. The likelihood of home schooling increases when a mother’s time budget is expanded by extra members of the household. The presence of a husband contributes strongly to the likelihood of home schooling outside MSAs, but inside MSAs married couples exiting the public school system have a greater tendency to substitute to private schools. Despite paying a higher implicit tuition, highly educated women are more likely to home school younger children. Their children tend to return to school in later grades.
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63. Should the curriculum be set by state fiat? An empirical test using Economics courses in High School
Author: Clive R Belfield

This paper estimates the effect of state-imposed curriculum mandates on the test scores of public school students who took the SAT in 2001. By 1998, 14 states across the U.S. had mandates that high school students should take an Economics course. For these states, the proportions of public schools students taking High School Economics was around twice that compared to those in states without mandates. The mandate may be interpreted as a regulation on input use in the education sector, potentially impairing the efficiency of schools. Where there is a mandate, test scores should be lower, even though other purposes may be served by a mandate. Using a range of estimation techniques, students who are mandated to take Economics post substantially lower SAT scores. The mandate reduces test scores by as much as 0.25 standard deviations for those students who would not otherwise have enrolled. Such effects are not found for three other subjects: French, German, and Biology.

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62. The Characteristics of Home-Schoolers: New Evidence from High Schools
Author: Clive R. Belfield

This note describes the personal and family background characteristics of home-schoolers in the US, and compares them to students in public and private schools. We find strong religiosity amongst home-schoolers, and family characteristics which are in the middle of the distribution (of income and education).

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61. What Does the Supreme Court Ruling Mean for School Superintendents?
Author: Clive Belfield and Henry M Levin

This short note reviews the possibilities of voucher programs, in light of the US Supreme Court ruling of June 2002.
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60. Recentralizing Decentralization? Educational Management Organizations and Charter Schools’ Educational Programs
Author: Katrina E Bulkley

Charter schools are the most decentralized form of recent reforms granting public
schools greater autonomy, with decision-making around issues such as hiring, budget,
mission and educational program shifted to the school site. However, the growth of
educational management organizations (EMOs) that operate charter schools has raised
the possibility of a change in charter school autonomy. EMOs, with corporate staffs
outside the school building making decisions for individual schools, create a new,
potentially centralizing force in this highly decentralized reform effort. The growing
involvement of EMOs is a critical part of the charter school landscape and has
significant potential implications for the operation of charter schools as autonomous
organizations with site-based decision-making. However, the implications of these
companies and their work with charter schools extends to public education more broadly
and to the role of government in funding versus providing education. Privatization of
publicly-funded education – especially privately-operated public schools – has received
increasing attention in recent years, with the most visible case being the 2001 state
takeover of the Philadelphia public schools and the resulting “multiple provider model”
adopted by the city (which involves management of some schools by for-profit
companies, community-based organizations, and universities). Attention to for-profit
educational management organizations that operate whole schools is likely to increase
in the coming years, since private management is one of the options for continually
“failing” schools in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002. This paper examines how the
operation of charter schools by “comprehensive management” EMOs influences the
decentralized nature of these schools, particularly in the area of educational issues.
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59. Private Education Provision and Public Finance: The Netherlands as a Possible Model
Author: Harry Patrinos

One of the key features of the Dutch education system is freedom of education. That is, the freedom to found schools, to organize the teaching in schools, and to determine the principles on which they are based. Almost 70 percent of schools in the Netherlands are administered and governed by private school boards, and public and private schools are government funded on an equal footing. This allows school choice. Most parents can choose among several schools and there are no catchment areas. Some schools have developed a unique profile. Government policy requires schools to disseminate information to the public. Yet, debate has focused on how market forces can make the system more efficient and equitable, and less regulated. The school choice system found in the Netherlands is made possible by the system of finance.
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58. Preserving Religious Values through Education: Economic Analysis and Evidence for the US –
Author: Danny Cohen-Zada

This paper describes how religious minority groups preserve their religious values and their group identity through education. Parents in religious minority groups who want to transmit their religious values to their children send them to religious private schools to shelter them from outside influences. However, when their share in the population grows, outside influences are less threatening, and therefore, their desire for religious private schools decreases. We bring empirical evidence across all US states and counties to support this theory. Our findings contribute to an understanding of the demand structure for religious schooling and the means by which religious minorities preserve their identity.
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57. The Political Economy of School Choice: Linking Theory and Evidence
Author: Danny Cohen-Zada and Moshe Justman

We derive an improved methodology for linking theoretical parameters of a political economy model of school choice to empirical values estimated by regressing local private enrolment shares on mean income, the median to mean ratio, religious and ethnic composition, and other variables. This leads us to reject the commonly maintained assumption that a coalition of “ends against the middle” determines local school funding, and to conclude instead that the median income voter is decisive. It also allows us to estimate the perceived relative efficiency advantage of private schooling, which we find to be about 30% at the margin.
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56. Homeowners, Property Values, and the Political Economy of the School Voucher
Author: Eric Brunner and Jon Sonstelie

A school voucher would decrease property values in neighborhoods with good public schools and increase property values in neighborhoods with inferior public schools. These potential gains and losses may influence voting on voucher initiatives, particularly for homeowners without school children. This paper examines that possibility, using a survey of potential voters on California’s 2000 voucher initiative. We find evidence that homeowners voted to protect their property values. For homeowners without school children, the probability of voting for the voucher was 39 percent if they lived in neighborhoods with good public schools and 56 percent if they lived in neighborhoods with inferior schools.
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55. Mr Jefferson’s “Private” College: The University of Virginia’s Business School Secedes
Author: David L Kirp and Patrick S Roberts

This paper describes the path toward privatization of the business school at the University of Virginia. “In its eagerness to enter the top ranks of business schools, Darden [Graduate School of Business Administration] has made the pursuit of money its main objective. In doing so, it has de-emphasized research; faculty energy that elsewhere would be devoted to scholarship and theory are devoted to topics that are dictated by the needs of executive education. Still, by the conventional indices of success, the strategy has worked brilliantly, as the school’s dramatic rise in the Business Week rankings attests… It seems that Darden embodies the future—and what works for business schools can be adapted to other units of the university, especially the professional schools… So too for the “state-located” University of Virginia—the temptation to privatize has led UVA farther from being a university with a mission—speaking truth to power—and closer to being a holding company. In the short term, that approach has been a great success. Charlottesville is home to UVA Inc., a great money-making engine. It is an institution in which, as in the classic market, the public interest is regarded as no more than the sum of the stakeholders’ interests.”
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54. An Economic Case against Vouchers: Why Local Schools are a Local Public Good
Author: William A. Fischel

Statewide voucher plans are consistently rejected in plebiscites. This article explains voters’ attachment to public education despite the schools’ deficiencies: The public benefit of local schools accrues to parents, not children. Having children in a local school enables adults to get to know other adults better, which in turn reduces the transaction costs of citizen provision of true local public goods. This network of adult acquaintances within the municipality is “community-specific social capital.” Vouchers would disperse students from their communities and thereby reduce the communal capital of residents. Voters’ implicit understanding of this causes them to reject large-scale voucher plans.
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53. The Religious Factor in Education
Author: Danny Cohen-Zada and Moshe Justman

This paper quantifies the religious factor in education demand by calibrating a political economy model of education finance and school choice in which parents who differ in the advantage they attribute to religious education choose from among public, private-nonsectarian and religious schools. The calibrated distribution of religious preferences indicates that the revealed advantage of religious education is strongly contingent on its high levels of subsidization. The results of the calibration are applied to compare the effect of publicly funded vouchers that do not exclude religious schools—to
which the Supreme Court recently opened a door in Zelman v. Simmons-Harris—with vouchers restricted to nonsectarian schools. It supports the implicit conclusion of the Court, that participation of religious schools in the Cleveland voucher program was essential for achieving its goal of helping low-income parents in a failing school district.
Larger vouchers would have reduced the share of religious schools in the program, though they would still have attracted a majority of students.
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51. The US Supreme Court’s Decision in Cleveland: Where to from Here?
Author: Frank R. Kemerer

This paper discusses the legal implications of Zelman v. Simmons-Harris, the Supreme Court ruling on education vouchers. With a ruling in favor, the green light is now on for the development of voucher programs elsewhere. But, the green light shines only from the perspective of the federal constitution. The Supreme Court’s decision does not abrogate the application of restrictive provisions in state constitutions to publicly funded voucher and tax benefit programs, nor does it restrict a state from imposing reasonable regulations on participating private schools. As argued here, these state constitutions need to be carefully understood before anticipating more education voucher programs. As a comparison, the legal status of tuition tax credits is also considered. These credits appear to have the edge over vouchers in several key respects.
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50. Does the Supreme Court Decision on Vouchers Really Matter for Education Reform?
Author: Clive R Belfield & Henry M Levin

In this note, we review the Supreme Court opinion of June 2002 in Zelman et al. v. Simmons-Harris et al., 00-1751). In the first section, we offer an interpretation of the ruling in terms of four evaluative criteria: freedom of choice, productive efficiency, equity, and social cohesion. Unsurprisingly, the opinion strongly emphasized parental freedom of choice over the other criteria. In the second section, we consider whether the Supreme Court ruling represents a major victory for voucher advocates and whether it will have a substantial impact in improving America’s schools. Our discussion takes a rather skeptical position, and we offer eight justifications for such a view.
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49. Modeling School Choice: A Comparison of Public, Private–Independent, Private–Religious and Home-Schooled Students
Author: Clive R. Belfield

US students now have four choices of schooling: public schooling, private–religious schooling, private–independent schooling, and home-schooling. Of these, home-schooling is the most novel: since legalization across the states in the last few decades, it has grown in importance and legitimacy as an alternative choice. Thus, it is now possible to investigate the motivation for home-schooling, relative to the other schooling options. Here, we use two recent large-scale datasets to assess the school enrollment decision: the first is the National Household Expenditure Survey (1999), and the second is micro-data on SAT test-takers in 2001. We find that, generally, families with home-schoolers have similar characteristics to those with children at other types of school, but mother’s characteristics – specifically, her employment status – have a strong influence on the decision to home-school. Plausibly, religious belief has an important influence on the schooling decision, not only for Catholic students, but also those of other faiths.
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48. Understudied Education: Toward Building A Home-schooling Research Agenda
Author: Kariane Mari Nemer

“Beginning with a brief history of homeschooling in America, I discuss literature describing today’s population of homeschoolers. Although older, the binary typology offered by Van Galen (1987, 1991) to categorize the motivations of homeschoolers is still utilized in much of the homeschooling literature. She breaks homeschoolers into two basic groups: the ideologues, who have ideological conflicts with schools, and the pedagogues, who dislike the pedagogy employed in traditional forms of education. Using Van Galen’s rubric as a starting point, I consider existing research about the characteristics and motivations of homeschoolers. Although this extant research is quite limited, it nonetheless highlights the need for an expanded framework. To this end, I offer my own suggestions for a slightly more detailed typology, arising out of my own homeschooling research. I conclude with a brief sampling of the types of knowledge and insight that homeschooling research may offer concerning the strengths, weakness, and future of American schooling.”
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47. The Potential of For-Profit Schools for Educational Reform
Author: Henry M. Levin

The rise of a for-profit industry in elementary and secondary schools is a relatively recent phenomenon in American education. In the past, a small number of independent schools –probably 2 percent or less – were for-profit endeavors, usually owned by a family or a small group of educators. However, over the last decade a group of for-profit firms has emerged with the goal of managing public schools on a contract basis. These firms have established contracts with both charter schools and public school districts. In exchange for a per-student fee (often the average per-student expenditure in a district or the amount of charter school reimbursement from the state), they will manage both the logistical and instructional aspects of the school. These firms can be analyzed according to their ability: (1) to be adequately profitable to attract capital; and (2) to improve education and initiate reforms in their schools, and stimulate reform in other schools that face competition from them or wish to emulate them. This paper suggests that the ability of EMO’s to be profitable is, at best, problematic. Although spokespersons for almost all EMO’s suggest that it is only a matter of gaining more schools to reach economies of scale, the evidence on scale economies in education is at odds with this claim. A combination of high cost structures at central headquarters and the need for major marketing activities are also major challenges. In addition, education is a much tougher business than many of the EMO’s anticipated because of the many-layers of political scrutiny and the ability of charter school sponsors and school districts to cancel term contracts after relative short periods. On the basis of existing evidence we have not yet seen substantial innovation in instruction by for-profit EMO’s, although we have seen some logistical advantages in school organization. Evidence on educational outcomes is also mixed. This paper concludes with the view that for-profit EMO’s are less promising than potential other forms of for-profit endeavors in education.

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46. Post-compulsory Entitlements: Vouchers for Life-long Learning
Author: Henry M Levin

Educational vouchers in the form of post-compulsory entitlements (PCE’s) are proposed as a method for financing life-long learning. These entitlements would be provided to all persons after they complete compulsory education and could be used for a wide variety of approved education and training options. PCE’s would be composed of both grants and income-contingent loans, the latter payable from the higher incomes generated by education and training investments. It is argued that the comprehensiveness and flexibility of the entitlement mechanism would improve both equity and efficiency of education and training. Issues of finance, regulation, and support services are discussed as well as the contention that the GI Bill for Veterans’ Educational Benefits provides a useful historical experience for considering PCE’s.
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45. Exploring the Democratic Tensions within Parents’ Decisions to Homeschool
Author: Kariane Mari Welner

When homeschooling parents discuss public schools, they often draw on their own notions of citizenship and each parent’s view of public schools is also likely influenced by his or her larger view of government’s proper role in society. I recently completed a three-year study designed to seek a better understanding of these issues. In particular, I explored homeschoolers’ interactions with broader social institutions – especially public schools – and I examined the relationship between parents’ homeschooling decisions and their notions of democracy. This investigation brought to light several tensions reflective of larger conflicts faced by Americans. In a pluralistic society it is very difficult, if not impossible, to arrive at educational policies that are acceptable to all involved or that fully meet the needs of all students and families. It is often equally difficult for parents to steadfastly match their private decision-making to their public vision of schooling.

In this article, I draw on democratic theory – and the categories of liberal, communitarian, and deliberative democracy – to highlight the tensions between the ideals that homeschoolers espouse and the implementation of these ideals in their daily lives. Some homeschoolers, notwithstanding their contrary choice for their own children, support a communitarian vision of the public schools. Other homeschooling parents voice a liberal critique of the “indoctrination” of public schooling, yet their children remain subject to their own indoctrination. And still others would support the public schools if those schools taught these parents’ vision of morality and truth, but they condemn the schools for teaching contrary metaphysical views. This article explores those contradictions and offers some insights into how these inconsistencies surface in the broader discourse surrounding education in America.
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44. Families as Contractual Partners in Education
Author: Henry M Levin and Clive R Belfield

The educational achievements of the young depend both on family and school, but are much more dependent on the former than the latter. Educational policy has established an extensive set of legal and contractual obligations for schools. In contrast, the only contractual obligation for families is to meet compulsory education requirements. The establishment of “performance expectations” or “contracts” between families and society may be an effective way to enhance educational outcomes, if family capacity is augmented to succeed in meeting these provisions. This paper investigates the need for, feasibility of, and possible content of such “performance expectations” by suggesting the construction of metaphorical contracts for families to provide for the education of their children. We begin by documenting the overwhelming ties between socio-economic status (SES) and student educational results. We then look at the research literature on what families do that improves educational results for their children – that is, what is it that SES reflects? Next, we consider what a comprehensive family contract that embodied these behaviors would look like. Finally, we add greater specificity to such a family contract by asking: (a) What can families do on their own if properly informed, even low-income families? (b) What can families do with training, and support? (c) What gaps in the contract must be filled by other service providers? Answers to these questions are important for education reforms that – within the context of privatization – seek to capitalize on parental efforts and energies.
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43. When Schools Compete, How Do They Compete?
Author: Chang-Tai Hsieh and Miguel Urqiola

In 1981, Chile introduced nationwide school choice by providing vouchers to any student wishing to attend private school. As a result, more than 1000 private schools entered the market, and the private enrollment rate increased by 20 percentage points, with greater impacts in larger, more urban, and wealthier communities. Using differences across roughly 300 municipalities, we show that the first-order effect of this program was increased sorting, as the “best” public school students switched to the private sector. We use a simple model to make the more general point that if choice leads to sorting, then one cannot determine its impact on achievement solely by assessing whether public schools improve in response to competition, or by measuring whether students benefit from attending private schools. Rather, one has to look at changes in aggregate outcomes in entire educational markets. Finally, using test scores, repetition rates, and grade for age as measures of achievement, we find no evidence that the large reallocation of students from public to private schools improved educational performance in Chile.
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42. Voting on Vouchers: A Socio-Political Analysis of California Proposition 38, Fall 2000
Author: James Catterall and Richard Chapleau

This paper analyzes the results of the votes in the referendum in California regarding Proposition 38 in the November 2000 election. This Proposition offered voters the option of replacing the current education financing system with a system of vouchers, eligible at any school. The Proposition was easily defeated, but the pattern of votes across zip codes indicated varying support for the idea of vouchers. Using county voting data and an exit poll of voters, this paper estimates the main determinants of support for, a…