Originally published in On Line Opinion on August 22, 2006

Under a voucher scheme, government funding would be provided on a per student basis to the school of parents’ choice, whether public or private. The amount given to each student could be the same (flat-rate vouchers) or could vary (differentiated vouchers). Vouchers could also be confined to particular students (targeted vouchers). Jennifer Buckingham, from the right wing Centre for Independent Studies, claims these findings are astounding and that it is difficult “not to be persuaded” by the evidence on vouchers. It is fair to say that the most fervent advocates tend to look only at evidence that supports their position. Pro-voucher campaigns throughout the world have followed a predictable format: denigrate public schools, blame the apparent flaws on unions and bureaucrats, and then selectively use evidence to support the introduction of vouchers. Australia’s advocates have stuck to the script.

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