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In short, school voucher programs have been proposed to help pay for families of children who live in low-performing school districts to send their children to better schools. Vouchers would pay for at least part of tuition at private schools, or cost of travel to more distant but higher performing public or charter schools. The significance of this debate is that it represents one possible attempt to deal with the issue of low-performing schools. Proponents argue that low-performing school districts will, in face of competition, have to increase their standards and perform better. Others simply argue that it redresses some of the inequities within school districts based on where a student happens to live. Opponents claim that lack of competition is not really the problem, and that school voucher programs will simply siphon off resources and students from lower-performing schools, increasing the gap between these schools and others. In any case, it is a major issue among proponents of school reform.
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