This paper offers an exploration of the benefit of school choice and how school voucher programmes are a core feature of successfully bringing education choice to all segments of society. School vouchers are flexible arrangements for education funding, where the funding follows the student. By looking at three different school voucher programmes, the Milwaukee Parental Choice Programme in the US state of Wisconsin, and the nationwide voucher programmes in Sweden and the Netherlands, we seek to find a benchmark framework for what regulations and infrastructure need to be in place in order for a programme to be successfully implemented.
We find that there are four key conditions necessary for a school voucher programme to be successfully implemented:
1. Managerial autonomy for public and private schools, in order to allow schools to thrive under competition.
2. Education policy should be centrally decided and the government must ensure quality control.
3. Allow for-profit schools, under the condition of long-term commitment from all operators.
4. Grade inflation must be controlled to ensure fair competition and quality control.
It is not within the scope of this paper to outline what school voucher reform in Malaysia should look like. In order to design such a programme further research is needed. However, it is hoped that this paper can serve as a benchmark for future research on the subject.