June 8, 2024

Jasmine Bolton and April Callen: Don’t Be Fooled By ‘School Choice.’ It’s a Trojan Horse for Privatizing Education.

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In an op-ed for US News, Jasmine Bolton and April Callan explain why vouchers are a bad idea.

Since 2023, state legislators across America have introduced more than 200 bills to create or expand private school vouchers, using taxpayer funds to reimburse families who choose to send their children to private schools. Supporters of vouchers claim they promote “school choice” or even promote equity. The reality is they drain crucially needed resources from public education, the only system enshrined in all 50 states’ constitutions and committed to educating all students, regardless of abilities, economic circumstances, race, religion, gender or special needs.

Advocates of vouchers defend their exorbitant costs by trumpeting them as beacons of opportunity for underserved communities. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and other politicians have employed the language of “liberation” to falsely equate vouchers with educational freedom and social justice. In fact, voucher programs privilege a few while robbing the rest, draining hundreds of millions of dollars from states’ coffers every year – perhaps even billions in Florida in the coming years – from state budgets that are already stretched thin.

This isn’t just robbing Peter to pay Paul; it’s robbing every taxpayer in America to pay a privileged few. Our society cannot and should not foot the bill for those who choose to send their children to private schools.


“School choice” is a Trojan Horse for privatization, a web of false promises and negative consequences for communities of color, low-income families and public schools.

With public schools struggling to meet children’s needs and private schools misaligned with their values, these families are in a precarious position. When they enter private schools, they often struggle in a two-tiered system where some families find the door closed based on race, language, disability, religion or sexual orientation.

For students with disabilities, vouchers force families to relinquish their right to federally guaranteed special education services. This trade-off forces families into a dilemma between specialized support and private education, on top of the other barriers vouchers create.

It is the government’s obligation to ensure that every child has access to quality education. We cannot outsource that duty to the private sector.

Read the full op-ed here. 


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