September 29, 2016

Clive Belfield, (917) 821-9219,
Daniel J. Quinn, (517) 203-2940,

A new Think Twice review of two papers on the Louisiana Scholarship Program

EAST LANSING, Mich. (Sept. 29, 2016) — Two recent papers from the Department of Education Reform (DER) at the University of Arkansas predicted the budgetary consequences of ending the Louisiana Scholarship Program (LSP). The two closely allied papers concluded that terminating the LSP would not relieve pressure on public spending in Louisiana. A new review of the papers says that the findings are reasonable, but they fail to make a convincing case.

Clive Belfield, Queens College, CUNY, reviewed Squeezing the Public School Districts: The Fiscal Effects of Eliminating the Louisiana Scholarship Program and The Fiscal Effect of Eliminating the Louisiana Scholarship Program on State Education for the Think Twice think tank review project. Think Twice, a project of National Education Policy Center (NEPC), is funded in part by the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice.

The first paper uses an economic model to conclude that terminating the LSP would increase costs. While, the second paper confirms the findings from the first paper and advances that the findings would apply to almost all school districts in Louisiana.

In his review Belfield says, "These papers are useful in that they apply an economic model to understanding the consequences of voucher systems." However, he says that the papers do not make a fully convincing case. Additionally, Belfield questions the omission of contradictory evidence provided by the state's Legislative Fiscal Office.

Belfield concludes, "There may be savings or additional expenditures, depending on several key parameters which have not been precisely estimated." Regardless of the economic consequences, Belfield adds, "the poor performance of LSP might in itself be justification for termination."

Find the review at:

Find the papers on the web:

Think Twice, a project of the National Education Policy Center, provides the public, policymakers and the press with timely, academically sound reviews of selected publications. The project is made possible by funding from the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice.

The review can also be found on the NEPC website:

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