Contrary to arguments made by opponents of school choice, a new study reaffirms that school choice saves taxpayer money for school districts and state budgets.

The study, a working paper published by the University of Arkansas Department of Education Reform, specifically looks at the Louisiana Scholarship Program. The program gives tuition scholarships with an average value of $5,850 per school year to approximately 7,000 students who attend private schools. Only students assigned to a failing public school with a family income below 250 percent of the poverty line are eligible.

Because of a budget deficit, the program is one of many programs Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, sought to cut in the 2016 legislative session. The program's budget was eventually cut by $6 million.

Edwards didn't propose to eliminate the Louisiana Scholarship Program, though others did. But the study shows eliminating the program would actually cost school districts more money.

"Districts would receive additional revenue from the state for affected students, but districts would also incur additional costs to educate these student," the study says. "For the affected districts, the average outcome would be a financial loss of about $1,500 per returning voucher student in 2016." As of fiscal year 2014, Louisiana spends roughly $10,750 per K-12 student.

Though the analysis focused on total elimination of the program, the study says the conclusion applies to any cuts to the program as well. "The same analysis would be applicable to any situation that causes students to move from private schools to public schools in Louisiana, including the current funding cap which may force some current LSP students out of the program and has already generated a waitlist of over 400 students for next year."

If advocates for public schools want them to have more money for educational programs, one solution appears to be to expand programs like the Louisiana Scholarship Program.

The study was authored by Corey DeAngelis and Julie Trivitt, both with the University of Arkansas.

Jason Russell is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.