PFPS: Vouchers Undermine Democracy

The Public Funds Public Schools webinar series continues to explore how vouchers and other forms of privatization threaten public education and the very foundations of American democracy.

Earlier this summer, PFPS hosted the tenth installment in the webinar series: “Vouchers, Voter Suppression, and Other Vices: The Effort to Undermine Democracy and the Public Good.” The event featured Donald Cohen, Executive Director of In The Public Interest, in conversation with consultant Charles Siler, formerly of the Foundation for Government Accountability and the Goldwater Institute, and Nancy Abudu, Interim Strategic Litigation Director at the Southern Poverty Law Center and leader of SPLC’s voting rights team.

During the webinar, the three advocates explored the connections between private school vouchers, other forms of privatization of public goods, and broader efforts to undermine democratic institutions, including the right to vote. Additionally, they offered insights on how to effectively oppose these efforts and how to strengthen and support public institutions through advocacy, organizing, and education.

PFPS also recently presented at the 6th annual Education Reform, Communities, & Social Justice research conference hosted by Rutgers University. PFPS’s presentation (beginning at minute 38) built on the campaign’s work tracking private school voucher legislation and identifying and analyzing nationwide trends in 2019, 2020, and this year. The presentation examined the political and contextual factors associated with these trends, including election results, the influence of pro-privatization actors and funding, and the complex politics and policies surrounding American schools during the pandemic.

Recordings of these programs, as well as other tools for advocates – including additional PFPS webinars, fact sheets, and policy briefs – can be accessed on the Advocacy page of the PFPS website.

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