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competition; school vouchers; school choice; systemic effects


Given the significant growth rate and geographic expansion of private school choice programs over the past two decades, it is important to examine how traditional public schools respond to the sudden injection of competition for students and resources. This article uses 1) a school fixed effects approach, and 2) a regression discontinuity framework to examine the achievement impacts of the Louisiana Scholarship Program (LSP). This targeted school voucher program has provided public funds for low-income students in low-performing public schools to enroll in participating private schools since the 2012-13 school year. The main findings of the competitive effects analysis reveal neutral to positive impacts that are small in magnitude. Effects are largest for students attending those public schools most affected by the competitive threat. Policy implications are discussed.