The political economy of school choice: Support for charter schools across states and school districts

Christiana Stoddard, Sean P. Corcoran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Public charter schools are one of the fastest growing education reforms in the US, currently serving more than a million students. Though the movement for greater school choice is widespread, its implementation has been uneven. State laws differ greatly in the degree of latitude granted charter schools, and-holding constant state support-states and localities vary widely in the availability of and enrollment in these schools. In this paper, we use a panel of demographic, financial, and school performance data to examine the support for charters at the state and local levels. Results suggest that growing population heterogeneity and income inequality-in addition to persistently low student outcomes-are associated with greater support for charter schools. Teachers unions have been particularly effective in slowing or preventing liberal state charter legislation; however, conditional on law passage and strength, local participation in charter schools rises with the share of unionized teachers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-54
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Urban Economics
Volume62
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2007

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Keywords

  • Charter schools
  • School choice
  • Teacher unions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Urban Studies

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