Sweden’s Voucher Program Part 8

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Milton Friedman’s film series “Free to Choose” Episode on Education part 6. It was Friedman’s voucher plan that was put into practice in Sweden in 1993.

I read an excellent article called “School Choice in Sweden: An Interview with Thomas Idergard of Timbro,” (March 8, 2010) by Dan Lips and I wanted to share some of his answers with you below:

DL: Some express concerns that choice and competition would undermine the traditional public or government school system. How have traditional public schools responded to widespread choice?
TI: They have improved because they have been forced to—by competition.
Two major studies—one from the Institute for Future Studies (an NGO) and one from the National Board of Education (the highest governmental education authority)—have examined the public schools’ response to increased competition where independent schools were established. Both showed that public schools in these cities were more efficient and successful—both in using given resources and attaining higher student results—than the national average.
Why? Because they needed to improve in order to compete with the independent schools. Otherwise they would lose students and thus revenues, because the public schools’ funding from the local school boards is also paid as an amount per student.
Sweden’s school voucher program shows that competition truly works!
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