Milton Friedman, the Nobel Laureate and most reknowned economist of the 20th century, is also the philosophical Father of the School Choice movement. In 1955 - four decades before most Americans recognized the current crisis in education - Friedman realized that government financing of privately adminstered schools is consistent, equitable, and efficient. Friedman posited this combination would benefit students by making schools more flexible and would also benefit teachers by making teacher salaries responsive to market forces. Friedman was the first to propose the idea that tax dollars should follow the child - vouchers.
The Freidman Foundation's latest report on the status of school choice is at http://www.friedmanfoundation.org/ABC.pdf
Milton Freidman wrote an essay for the Wall Street Journal recently reflecting on the school choice movement and his role in it. Read it here.