PFPS Webinar and Podcast: Private School Vouchers and Strategies to Fight Them

October 17, 2019

A central goal of the Public Funds Public Schools (PFPS) campaign is to provide crucial information about the ways private school voucher programs threaten public education and strategies to oppose their adoption or expansion.

A recent webinar and podcast by the PFPS team offered up-to-date analysis of voucher programs and an introduction to PFPS’s multifaceted approach to preventing the diversion of public funds to private schools.

The forums were hosted by the Schott Foundation for Public Education (Schott) and the Network for Public Education (NPE) – key allies in the fight against vouchers.

In September, a Schott webinar spotlighted the PFPS campaign and its work. Moderated by Schott President and CEO, Dr. John Jackson, the webinar featured Jessica Levin, Senior Attorney at Education Law Center and Director of PFPS, and Bacardi Jackson, Managing Attorney at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Ms. Levin and Ms. Jackson provided detailed information on the history of private school vouchers, the evolving privatization landscape, and the strategies PFPS is using to halt and scale back voucher programs.

Ms. Jackson, who directs SPLC’s children’s rights advocacy in Florida, gave a detailed overview of the expansive voucher landscape in the Sunshine State, where voucher proponents have enacted several different types of voucher programs, including “special education vouchers” and “bullying vouchers.” Ms. Jackson also highlighted the negative impact on Florida’s public schools, as vouchers now siphon nearly $1 billion in taxpayer funds to private and religious schools, and the unflagging efforts to stop voucher growth. Watch the webinar here.

In October, Carol Burris, NPE Executive Director, hosted Ms. Levin and Katherine Dunn, Regional Policy Analyst for the Children’s Rights practice group at SPLC, on her “Talk Out of School” radio program. Ms. Levin and Ms. Dunn discussed the many forms that vouchers take, research demonstrating vouchers’ negative effects, and recent proposals for new or expanded voucher programs at the state and federal levels. They also provided a detailed overview of the work PFPS is doing to combat vouchers and other diversions of public funds from public schools, examples of where these strategies have been successful, and ways program listeners could get involved. The program is available as a podcast here.

For more information about vouchers and PFPS’s efforts to fight them, please visit the Litigation, Advocacy, and Research pages at www.pfps.org.


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