Date of Award


Degree Type

Honors Paper

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Political Science


The circumstances which prompted this proposal reflect the desire to show that my present pursuit of a double major in elementary education and political science are of relative value to one another. This issue obviously reflects educational matters, but it also contends with those of a political nature such as government control, regulation, budgeting, and public policy. This paper engages in a comprehensive normative study which examines the origin and progression of the idea of an educational voucher system from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. Special emphasis focuses upon the theoretical arguments which support educational vouchers. Evidence obtained through extensive research has shown that an educational voucher system may be designed and implemented in such a way that positive outcomes are produce.d A few of these positives outcomes include: the provision of equal funding for all pupils on a statewide level; implementation of parental and pupil "choice" within the educational system; increase in the economic efficiency of education operations; and an increase in teacher effectiveness due to competitive market effects. A discussion of the forerunners who originated the idea of a voucher system such as Adam Smith, Thomas Paine, and John Stuart Mill will illustrate the reasons why these men believed this type of system would be of value. A look at twentieth century voucher schemes developed by authors such as Milton Friedman, Christopher Jencks, and John Coons will provide insight as to why the time may be ripe to implement testable voucher proposals.



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