VEC Releases its study “Impact of Parental Choice Education Savings Accounts on Rural Virginia Counties”

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Kristin L. Allen

For the third year, Del. David LaRock (VA-33) has introduced Parental Choice Education Savings Account (PCESA) legislation in the Virginia General Assembly.

This legislation will allow a parent to receive approximately one-third of Virginia’s per pupil expenditure on K12 education to place their public school student in a private school or home school, leaving one-third of the expenditure to cover the fixed cost of school operations, and one-third as savings to the state and locality for re-investment in public schools.

Under a grant from EdChoice (formerly the Friedman Foundation), VEC analyzed the economic and fiscal impact of PCESA legislation on rural Virginia Counties (see VEC Report PDF).

VEC found that implementation of the PCESA will deliver the following results:
• Reduce Virginia education cost between $6.8 billion to $16 billion, over
the next 10 to 18 years.
• Save Virginia between $145 million and $180 million in the first full year of implementation.
• Improve NAEP 8th grade math scores by up to 25% over the next ten years.
• Deliver approximately $2,400 savings to local school districts for each student taking an ESA.
• Increase rural county annual income per capita between $1,952 (9%) and $4,500 (20.7%).
• Add between $0.683 trillion and $1.439 trillion to state GDP.

The reported economic and fiscal impact estimates compare favorably to the actual performance of two education choice programs:

The Horizon Program in Bexar County, TX, (see Horizon Program: A Model for Education Reform) and the Milwaukee Parent Choice Program in Milwaukee, WI (The Comprehensive Longitudinal Evaluation of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program: Summary of Final Reports).

In 2015, Beck Research, a Democratic polling firm, found that nearly 70 percent of Americans support the concept of education choice, 45 percent strongly support it, and only 27 percent oppose it (New National Poll Shows Growing Momentum for School Choice as 2016 Race Kicks Off).

Isn’t it time to give parents the choice they demand? Call your elected representatives and demand that they support PCESA legislation (contact your Virginia state Delegate or Senator here:  Who Is My Delegate or Senator?)

Kristin L. Allen

About Kristin L. Allen

Kristin L. Allen Managing Partner, Virginia Education Coalition Mr. Allen is President of Virginia Education Coalition, LLC (VEC). VEC is an alliance of individuals and organizations that supports parent-led, student-centered education reform. VEC promotes policies and programs that deliver better student educational performance at reduced cost. VEC believes that these objectives are best achieved through parental choice in education; transparent, open dialogue between parents, students, and teachers; and policies and programs that encourage maximum personal freedom and responsibility. Follow VEC on Facebook and Twitter.