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Nearly 6 percent of Arizona's public-school students take advantage of locally adopted open-enrollment policies, with the majority choosing to attend schools within the same district, according to a recent survey.

The Arizona Department of Education's research office surveyed 169 districts statewide, representing 95 percent of the state's 683,648 K-12 students, to gauge the impact of local school-choice policies.

During the current school year, the survey showed, 10,115 students attend a school in a different district, slightly more than the 9,833 who were doing so in the most recent previous survey, conducted in 1989.

The new study also indicates that 29,971 students are enrolled in a school other than the one they normally would have attended within the same district.

The survey notes that four districts under desegregation orders or agreements account for 36 percent of the intradistrict transfers, while two counties account for 90 percent of the interdistrict transfers.

The state legislature currently is debating a statewide open-enrollment measure.

The State of California could save $10 billion if it enacted a private-school voucher plan that gave students an education "credit card,'' according to a report by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Foundation.

The savings would result from closing unpopular public schools after giving students a credit that would pay up to $2,500 annually in private-school tuition based on financial need, the report says. Alvin Rabushka, a Hoover Institute economist who wrote the report, said such a move could cut personal income taxes in half.

Proponents of such a measure in the state are working to place an initiative on the November ballot.

The report, "Reversing California's Decline,'' also calls for dramatic changes in the tuition scale for the state's higher-education system, cuts in welfare benefits, and other measures aimed at slashing state spending.

Vol. 11, Issue 37, Page 2

Published in Print: June 3, 1992, as States News
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