The debate between private education and public education is ongoing. The use of school vouchers increases market competition for public schools. In today's lesson, you will learn the possible causes and effects of private school vouchers being available to students.uniform


In this lesson, you will listen to an audio file about school vouchers. While listening, use an interactive note-taker to identify the story's major concepts and supporting details; then you will answer questions related to the story.


Activity 1
Listen to the NPR audio file about 'School Vouchers ' which provides audio that outlines recent legislation in Indiana that extended the availability of school vouchers. 

While you are listening, use the Note-Taker to find supporting details for three main ideas. The three main ideas you will focus on today are: papers

  • Public School Spending

  • Competition for Public Schools

  • Problems with School Vouchers

Additionally, as you listen to the segment, record any words which you don't know or which you think are important economic terms.

Then listen to the audio file again to gather additional supporting details and possible definitions of the vocabulary words using context clues; record these in your Note-Taker.

Finally, you will be asked a series of questions related to the story and its economic concepts.

Activity 2

You've just been given a school voucher. Now you must decide whether or not to use it. Visit the following websites for more information:

  • Indiana Department of Education: Resource page from the Indiana Department of Education on school vouchers.

Consider the following:

  • What are the immediate benefits of using this voucher?
  • What are the possile future benefits of using this voucher?
  • What are the possible negative effects of using this voucher?
  • Do you think you are a good candidate for a school voucher?
  • What would your public school need to change in order for you to choose to stay?
  • Do you think vouchers are fair for all students?

You can work in small groups to think about this scenario. Record your ideas and make sure you consider each question as you think about the scenario.


By the conclusion of this lesson you should be able to identify at least three main causes and effects of market competition for public schools.


1. Hand in your Note-taker. Your work should reflect an understanding of school competition and the positive and negative effects a voucher system could have on the public school system.

2. Discuss your ideas from Activity 2 with classmates and hand in your recorded ideas. Your work should portray an understanding of how school vouchers might affect public schools and the possible effects a voucher system could have on your education. Your work should convey an opinion about vouchers based on what you have learned.