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Effective education reforms provide savings

By ThisIsReno

By Jeff W. Reed – Nevada Policy Research Institute

Increasing school choice also improves student achievement

As Nevadans shop this holiday season, most will seek out the best deals and spend their money wisely to maximize tight budgets.

The State of Nevada could, and should, do the same for its residents, by adding some cost-savings items to its 2011 K-12 shopping list.

Governor-elect Brian Sandoval will have to cope with a $1 billion budget deficit when he takes office. With public education consuming a huge chunk of the state budget, cuts could be on the table. But they need not be too painful. Reapportioning state education dollars to school choice programs would allow the state to provide children with effective education while also producing cost savings for taxpayers.

School choice vouchers — and tax-credit scholarships distributed by nonprofit organizations — allow families to access part of the government funding allotted for their children, and use those dollars to send them to schools of their choice, private or otherwise. Although such proposals do cost money, they cost less than the amount spent on students in traditional public schools.

How do vouchers and tax-credit scholarships produce savings? A new school choice program enacted this year in Oklahoma shows how.

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