Nailing Shut the Policy Window: The Policy Evolution of America’s First Urban School Voucher Program

Michael Ford


This article describes the origins and evolution of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, arguing that voucher policy in Milwaukee continues to exist long after the policy window that enabled its creation closed.  The author, using the framework of public policy windows, concludes that under certain conditions untested policy initiatives can lead to policy paralysis.  The study is of interest to legislators considering new and untested policy initiatives, program evaluators, and scholars interested in the history of school voucher policy.  


Vouchers; School Choice; Policy Evolution; Policy Windows

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