Advocates for school choice have long argued that charters encourage higher performance among all public schools. But is it possible that local students could benefit from the presence of a charter school even if they never go to school there? According to a recent study, the answer is yes.

In New York City, Temple University Professor Sandra Cordes found that the establishment of charter schools had a positive impact on the educational quality of the area.

According to Cordes’ research, charters drove up overall reading and math scores of traditional public schools, and also reduced the number of students held back a grade by as much as 20 to 40 percent.

In an interview with the Atlantic, Cordes explained that competition was the main catalyst for improvement.

“I think having that close a proximity might really get administrators to get their act together,” she said.

Parents could also see the difference in their kids. Moms and dads surveyed as part of the study claimed seeing “significantly higher student engagement.”

Cordes’ findings are soon to be published in the journal Education Finance and Policy. You can read her peer-reviewed study here, or check out the Atlantic article here.