Impact of the Indiana Choice Scholarship Program: Achievement Effects for Students in Upper Elementary and Middle School (June 2017)


  • The study analyzed outcomes for students in grades 3-8 who used a voucher to transfer from a public to a private school during the first four years of the program (2011-12 through 2014-15 school years).


The voucher program had a negative impact on students’ academic achievement. 

  • Overall, students who used a voucher experienced an average annual loss of 0.10 standard deviations in mathematics after attending a private school compared with matched public school students.

  • Overall, students who used a voucher had no statistically meaningful overall effects in Language Arts (ELA). However, special education voucher students experience an average annual loss of 0.13 standard deviations in ELA.

Voucher students' scores in math improve after four years, but do not lead to higher scores. 

  • The negative affect on students’ math scores is worse in the first two years. By year four, students generally recoup those losses and end up with math scores on par with their peers.

  • It is difficult to accurately measure whether the students truly catch back up due to the small number of students left in the program after four years. This is because many students give up their voucher and return to public school.