School Choice, At A Discount

The newly elected Governor of Florida has an education reform proposal:

[T]he creation of "education savings accounts," a voucher-type system that Scott had spoken about somewhat vaguely in recent weeks... Parents would be allowed to receive funding equal to 85 percent of the "amount the student would have generated in the public school system," presumably in per-pupil funding, to pay for private school costs, private tutoring, private virtual education, prepaid college plans, and other options. And the remaining 15 percent? Scott's team says it would flow back in the public coffers. "The state will save 15 percent for every public school parent who chooses this option," his team predicts.

Reihan explains why it excites him:

Some might fear that affluent parents who would have chosen parochial or independent schools even without the subsidy will now seek public dollars, but I'm not sure this is a particularly pressing concern. The idea is that children would receive 85 percent of the funds they would receive in the public school system. One obvious solution is to embrace something like Robert Reich's proposal for "progressive vouchers," which would assign higher amounts of public resources to poor children as opposed to affluent children. Imagine a statewide ESA program in which educational dollars are provided through a statewide formula, not through local funds raised via property taxes, thus enhancing property values in working class neighborhoods with weak schools and dampening them in the state's richest areas.