Date of Award

1995

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Business

First Advisor

Dr. Philip F. Rice

Second Advisor

Dr. Jenny Petty

Third Advisor

Dr. Jeff Pounders

Abstract

The school choice debate is very visible in today's discussions of public education. One approach'to change is through the use of vouchers. Vouchers allow parents to consider more than the neighborhood or assigned school.

The voucher system is an issue because of problems with the status quo in public education. A solution would not be offered unless there was a problem. Identification of the reasons behind the proposition of an alternative such as a voucher is presented in this paper. A thorough definition of a voucher system is necessary to establish a firm foundation upon which one can base an opinion. For this reason, a complete definition has been provided for the reader. This paper explains exactly what a voucher system entails.

Throughout history, many different voucher plans have surfaced. The idea continues to re-surface as an alternative to the present educational establishment. Several voucher proposals are described in this paper in order to present a historical perspective of voucher programs.

The opposing viewpoints of the voucher issue were researched. Voucher advocates have many strong arguments for its implementation. Voucher opposition is as strong as voucher support. Reasons for both support and opposition to vouchers are presented in this paper.

The results of a voucher program already in use is fundamental in the formation of an opinion on the validity of the issue. In 1990, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, implemented a choice plan. The researcher obtained a report from the State of Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction that presents results of the implementation.

A conclusion may only be drawn after the examination of the status quo, definition, history, arguments for and arguments against voucher programs, and the results of voucher program implementation. The author formed an opinion after the in-depth research process; this opinion concludes the paper.

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