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Attending US charter schools may lead to higher earnings in the future

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A new study suggests that charter school students are more likely to do well at college and earn significantly more than their counterparts at other schools.

Using data from Florida, researchers confirmed previous research that students attending charter high schools are more likely to graduate from high school and enroll in college. In addition, when they examined two longer-term outcomes not previously studied in research on charter schools–college persistence and earnings–they found that students attending charter high schools were more likely to persist in college, and that in their mid-20s they had higher earnings.

"It is increasingly important to look at long-run outcomes of educational policies, including impacts on educational attainment and labor market outcomes, rather than just focus on test scores. This is especially true in the case of charter schools, where many studies have found that the average impact of charter schools on student achievement is roughly equivalent to that of traditional public schools," said Dr. Tim Sass, lead author of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management study. "Our current work, as well as evidence from other recent studies, suggests that charter schools can have important positive effects on long-run outcomes that really matter for students, like the likelihood of high school graduation, college attendance, persistence in college, and earnings."

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