How are vouchers used differently in different states?

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Vouchers are federal subsidies distributed at the state level for the purposes of paying full or partial tuition for K-12 private school education. Vouchers are usually dispensed to students through the public school system. Public school students who are eligible for vouchers are usually encouraged to apply to private schools and use their vouchers at the school of their choice.


There are many different systems for allocating school vouchers. Some states use a lottery system, in which each student has an equal, random chance of receiving a voucher. Other states use a need-based system. In a need-based system, only those whose family income is below a certain threshold can obtain a school voucher.

There are also universal voucher systems, in which each public school student has access to a relatively low-value school voucher. Many states use a combination system, in which each student has access to a low-value voucher, and high-need students have access to higher-value vouchers.

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