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The Impact of the Louisiana Scholarship Program on Racial
Segregation in Louisiana Schools

36 Pages Posted: 29 Feb 2016  

Anna J. Egalite

North Carolina State University - Department of Educational Leadership, Policy & Human Development

Jonathan N. Mills

Tulane University - Education Research Alliance

Patrick J. Wolf

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform

Date Written: February 24, 2016

Abstract

The question of how school choice programs affect the racial stratification of schools is highly salient in the field of education policy. We use a student-level panel data set to analyze the impacts of the Louisiana Scholarship Program (LSP) on racial segregation in public and private schools. This targeted school voucher program provides funding for low-income, mostly minority students in the lowest-graded public schools to enroll in participating private schools. Our analysis indicates that the vast majority (82%) of LSP transfers have reduced racial segregation in the voucher students’ former public schools. LSP transfers have marginally increased segregation in the participating private schools, however, where just 45% of transfers reduce racial segregation. In those school districts under federal desegregation orders, voucher transfers result in a large reduction in traditional public schools’ racial segregation levels and have no discernible impact on private schools. The results of this analysis provide reliable empirical evidence that parental choice actually has aided desegregation efforts in Louisiana.

Keywords: racial segregation; school vouchers; school choice; systemic effects; integration

Suggested Citation

Egalite, Anna J. and Mills, Jonathan N. and Wolf, Patrick J., The Impact of the Louisiana Scholarship Program on Racial Segregation in Louisiana Schools (February 24, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2738785 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2738785

Anna J. Egalite (Contact Author)

North Carolina State University - Department of Educational Leadership, Policy & Human Development ( email )

Hillsborough Street
Raleigh, NC 27695
United States

Jonathan Mills

Tulane University - Education Research Alliance ( email )

New Orleans, LA
United States

Patrick Wolf

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform ( email )

201 Graduate Education Building
Fayetteville, AR 72701
United States

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