PFPS Fact Sheet Series: The Myth of Cost Savings from Private School Vouchers
The Public Funds Public Schools fact sheet series continues to grow. The most recent addition forcefully debunks the notion that a private school voucher program is more cost effective than public education. All PFPS fact sheets are designed to provide concise, downloadable tools for advocates, students, families, educators, and policymakers.
The latest PFPS fact sheet provides succinct, evidence-backed explanations of why private school voucher programs:
- Are more expensive than public schooling;
- Are costly to operate due to myriad expenses beyond the face value of the voucher;
- Shift onto families the burden of paying for many vital education expenses;
- Result in increased costs due to fraud and misuse of voucher funds;
- Publicly subsidize private education for students who would not otherwise have attended public schools;
- Do not change “fixed costs,” such as facilities, staff, and programs, that public schools continue to bear; and
- Concentrate in public schools students who often require additional resources and are frequently excluded from private schools, such as students with disabilities and English learners.
Private school voucher programs divert funds that would and should have been spent on public school students to pay for private education. Far from saving the public money, these programs threaten vital funding for public schools, yet are not shown to improve academic results. Public funds must be invested in public schools, which welcome all children and are responsible for serving the vast majority of students.
PFPS’s first two fact sheets, summarizing research on the harmful effects of vouchers and explaining why vouchers for private virtual education are misspent public funds, are available on the Advocacy page of the PFPS website in the “Fact Sheets” section.