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Privatization and Minority Student Achievement

Following the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that the Cleveland Scholarship and Tuition Program did not violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (Zelman v. Simmons-Harris, 2002), many proponents of private school choice expected voucher programs to sprout throughout the United States. Almost a decade after the Zelman ruling, however, there has yet to be an outpouring of new state or federally sponsored voucher programs. While new programs have emerged, their number remains limited compared to other forms of school choice. As of 2011, only eight states and Washington, D.C., provide publicly financed vouchers for students to attend private schools, and these programs are limited to serving either low-income students or those eligible for special education services.

The slow expansion of vouchers could be explained by ...

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