Cato Institute on Education



Vouchers break link of low-income and low-quality schools

The SOAR Act would reauthorize the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP). The Obama administration has repeatedly worked to undermine or eliminate the school choice program, even though the OSP has the support of local Democratic politicians such as the D.C. Mayor and a majority of the D.C. City Council. Fortunately for the low-income children attending the schools of their choice through the OSP, the president has signaled that he does not intend to veto the legislation

Low-income students shouldn't be condemned to low-quality schools just because their parents cannot afford a home in a wealthy neighborhood. The D.C. OSP was an important step toward breaking the link between home prices and school quality, so it's encouraging to see that D.C. is not likely to take a step backward. Ideally, though, Congress would take the next step from school choice to educational choice by enacting a universal education savings account program.

Source: Cato Institute 2015-16 voting recommendation on DC Choice , Apr 28, 2016

Only 19% finish community college & new jobs don't need it

President Obama proposed that two years of community college be made free to all "responsible" students. But one look at either community college outcomes or labor market outlooks reveals this to be educational folly.

The fact of the matter is that community college completion rates are atrocious: a mere 19.5% of first-time, full-time community college students complete their programs, and that rate has been dropping almost every year since 2000. Meanwhile, the for-profit sector has an almost 63% completion rate at two-year institutions, and that has been rising steadily.

The other huge problem is that the large majority of job categories expected to grow the most in the coming years do not require postsecondary training. [About 70%] of the new jobs will require a high school diploma or less.

Source: Cato Institute 2015 voting recommendation: Community College , Jan 9, 2015

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Page last updated: Apr 30, 2021