PFPS Fact Sheet Series: Vouchers for Private Virtual Education Are Misspent Public Money

The second resource in the Public Funds Public Schools fact sheet series, which is designed to provide concise, downloadable tools for advocates, students and families, educators, and policymakers, is now available.

The new two-page fact sheet explains why voucher-supported, private virtual schools are a misuse of scarce public resources. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated a temporary shift to distance learning, information cited in the fact sheet shows virtual education is not an effective long-term substitute for brick and mortar schools, and adding private school voucher schemes to the mix will only harm students and communities.

The fact sheet provides details on how fully virtual schools:

  • Fail to provide the same learning opportunities as traditional public schools, harming students’ educational outcomes;
  • Do not provide equitable opportunities for students from economically disadvantaged families, students with disabilities, English learners, and other historically marginalized students; and
  • Are highly susceptible to accountability failures due to lack of oversight.

Because public schools need increased resources to bridge growing opportunity gaps and meet students’ educational, health, and social-emotional needs, especially during and after the pandemic, the fact sheet concludes that diverting public funds to private virtual schools will not deliver equitable educational opportunities or positive student outcomes.

PFPS’s first fact sheet summarizes the extensive research on the negative impacts of private school vouchers on students and public schools and is available on the Advocacy page of the PFPS website. Public school advocates can use the fact sheets and the other resources available on the PFPS website to counter pro-voucher rhetoric with well-reasoned, evidence-backed arguments about the myriad harms of private school voucher programs.

Look for the release of additional PFPS fact sheets this winter.

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