Study: Private Schools Foster Civic Virtues

A new study demonstrates that private schools, including religious schools, do a better job fostering certain key civic attitudes than public schools. The research, conducted by University of Arkansas and University of Buckingham researchers, analyzed a variety of civic outcomes including political tolerance, civic engagement, and community involvement. Private education exhibits a consistent edge in enhancing civic competencies vital for a healthy democracy. According to the study, “The evidence is especially strong that private schooling is correlated with higher levels of political tolerance and political knowledge and skills.” Read the report.

Ohio’s Private School Voucher Program Sees Record Applications

Ohio’s expanded private school voucher program is experiencing record demand after lawmakers expanded scholarship eligibility to include more families. The legislature raised the income threshold to 450% of the poverty line, allowing a family of four earning up to $135,000 to qualify, and even those above this threshold can still obtain partial scholarships. As a result, the state has received more than 91,000 applications — almost four times as many as the last fiscal year.

A story in the Ohio Capital Journal quotes the parent of an eighth-grader at St. Mary’s School in Columbus as saying, “I wouldn’t have ever been able to afford (St. Mary’s). Without a scholarship, it just wouldn’t be possible. … Without a private education, she wouldn’t be anywhere close to where she is.”

The success of Ohio’s program underscores the demand for increased access to private education and the value of school choice. Read more.

Missouri Legislature Approves Private School Choice Program

The Missouri Legislature has passed a significant expansion of the state’s tax-credit education savings account (ESA) program, which now goes to the governor’s desk for final approval.

By expanding student eligibility and increasing the tax credits available to donors, the bill opens the door for more students to access the many benefits of private education.

Report: What Are Kids Reading These Days?

CAPE sponsor Renaissance has released the new edition of their annual What Kids Are Reading report. There are some familiar titles — Because of Winn-Dixie, Hatchet, Harry Potter — as well as some new books by up-and-coming authors. Check out the report’s latest edition to see the most-read print and digital books at each grade level, along with titles to engage reluctant readers, Spanish language books, popular series, and more. Read more.