The school choice movement has suffered a number of severe setbacks during the last decade. California and Michigan voters rejected school voucher ballot initiatives in 2000, state courts in Colorado and Florida ruled that their voucher programs were unconstitutional, and during negotiations over the No Child Left Behind Act, President Bush abandoned provisions that would allow students in failing public schools to switch to private schools. Fifteen years after Milwaukee instituted the nation’s first voucher program, fewer than 35,000 non-special education students receive publicly funded school vouchers nationwide.
About William Howell
WILLIAM G. HOWELL joined the Government Department at Harvard University as an assistant professor in 2002. He previously taught at the University of Wisconsin, after receiving his Ph.D. in political science at Stanford University in 2000. Howell has written on separation-of-powers issues, American political institutions, and education policy, publishing research in such venues as International Organization, Journal of Politics, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Legislative Studies Quarterly, American Behavioral Scientist, and Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization. He is the author of Power without Persuasion: The Politics of Direct Presidential Action and is currently working on book that examines how domestic political institutions constrain the president’s ability to exercise military force abroad.
Drawing from a telephone survey of 1,000 public school parents in the ten largest school districts in Massachusetts, this paper critically examines public school parents’ knowledge of and interest in alternative schooling options.