New study describes effect between school choice and lower crime rates

Today, researchers from the University of Arkansas released a study discussing the effects of school choice on a participant’s likelihood to engage in criminal activity. Their analysis found that students who participate in a school choice program persistently were less likely to participate in criminal activity, especially male students.

Researchers analyzed the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP), the nation’s longest running school choice program, to determine whether involvement in the program had an impact on a student’s criminal activity later in life. Their results found that students who used a voucher throughout high school were five to seven percentage points less likely to commit a misdemeanor compared to their public school counterparts. Also, their likelihood of being accused of a crime was reduced by five to 12 percentage points.

“School choice continues to give children an opportunity to succeed, thrive and do all they can to avoid becoming just another statistic,” said Kevin P. Chavous, founding board member of the American Federation for Children. “This research shows the important correlation between a receiving great education and keeping children and our communities safe. We hope people look at this study and see the broad positive impact of educational choice and a quality learning environment.”

The full study can be found here: The School Choice Voucher: A “Get Out of Jail” Card?

The study was conducted by Corey DeAngelis, a doctoral student in education policy, and Dr. Patrick J. Wolf, PhD, professor and 21st Century Chair in School Choice at the University of Arkansas.