by Ben Clark
Beacon Center of Tennessee
September 04, 2014
Policy Report
Critics of opportunity scholarships argue that they deprive public school systems of much-needed financial resources, while doing little to help alleviate the financial responsibilities of public schools. Distinguishing between “variable” and “fixed” costs in educational spending can indicate how much of a school’s financial burden is responsive to an immediate decrease in the number of students. Provided that, for each student receiving an opportunity scholarship, public schools maintain enough funding to cover the “fixed costs” of the departing student, opportunity scholarships have a net positive fiscal impact on public schools. The voucher plan proposed in the “Tennessee Choice and Opportunity Scholarship Act” provides public school systems across Tennessee with a scholarship program that, in the vast majority of cases, actually provides a positive fiscal impact on public schools.

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