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Trial Implementation of Cleveland Education Voucher Programs

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II. Trial Implementation of Education Voucher Programs

A. Cleveland Voucher Program

The Cleveland education voucher program is better known as the Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Program (CSTP). CSTP makes up two well developed programs: an education voucher program and a tutoring assistance program. CSTP was enacted by the Ohio Legislature in 1996 and was the first education voucher program in the US which allowed religious schools to participate. The objective of the Cleveland education voucher program is to provide educational opportunities for students of low-income families residing within the Cleveland school district to attend private schools in Cleveland or to attend public school in districts adjacent to the Cleveland school district introduced in response to parental dissatisfaction with the quality of public schools(Lee & Wong, 2002, p. 45).

The Cleveland voucher program had great outcomes; the program showed the increased expectation of education, when the program first started in 1996 there was 1,994 voucher students. By 2000-01 the number increased to 4,195 voucher students in 50 private schools. Parental choice increased since all private schools in Cleveland and public schools in the district neighboring to the Cleveland school district are allowed to participate, this allowed parents the opportunity to be able to pick from multiply schools. It also showed that access of low income students to study in private schools increased; in 1999 the average family income for voucher students was $18,750, compared to $19,814 for public school students(Lee & Wong, 2002, p. 48). Both voucher and private students was viewed within the low income guidelines under the Cleveland voucher program for a family of two or more members. In Cleveland, priority was given to students from families whose income was less than 200% of federal poverty guidelines. However, students from high income families was also able to benefit, only if low-income students did not use up the education vouchers they were able to use the remaining vouchers. In this circumstance funds would also be available to middle-class families however these funds might not be divided amongst the most needed families (Lee & Wong, 2002, p. 49).

B. Milwaukee Voucher Program

The Milwaukee education voucher program, better known as the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, was established by the Wisconsin Legislature in 1989 and commenced operation in 1990. The objective of the Milwaukee education voucher program is to provide financial assistance for students of low-income families residing within the city of Milwaukee to attend private schools(Lee & Wong, 2002, p. 26). This program had increased the provision of education for low-income students in Milwaukee because the number of participating schools increased from seven in 1990 to 103 in 2000. In

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