PFPS Webinar: The Fiscal Consequences of Private School Vouchers

A Discussion Featuring PFPS Report Authors and Privatization Researchers

The Public Funds Public Schools webinar series continues into 2023! Join us on April 20 for a discussion with the authors of PFPS’s recently released report, The Fiscal Consequences of Private School Vouchers, and researchers whose work further reveals the dramatic cost of voucher programs in Florida.

The PFPS report, by Dr. Samuel E. Abrams and Steven J. Koutsavlis of Teachers College, Columbia University, examines the growth in voucher programs and spending in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Ohio, and Wisconsin in the decade following the Great Recession. The report finds that expenditures of public funds on voucher programs increased dramatically from 2008 to 2019, with an astonishing 883 percent growth in voucher spending in Georgia.

At the same time funding for vouchers climbed significantly in these seven states, the portion of state gross domestic product allocated to K-12 public education decreased, even though public school enrollment grew over the same period in five of the seven states. Nearly all the featured states were diverting hundreds of millions of dollars annually to vouchers by the end of the period studied, with Florida diverting nearly a billion dollars per year by 2019.

To further the discussion of Florida’s colossal voucher spending, the Fiscal Consequences authors will be joined by Dr. Norín Dollard of Florida Policy Institute and Dr. Mary McKillip of Education Law Center, authors of the 2022 report Florida's Hidden Voucher Expansion: Over $1 Billion From Public Schools to Fund Private Education.

That report found the diversion of state school aid to vouchers reached an estimated $1.3 billion in the wake of the 2019 enactment of the Family Empowerment Scholarship voucher program, representing approximately 10% of state public school aid in 2022-23, in addition to a potential $1.1 billion diverted from the state treasury through tax credit vouchers. The two organizations released fiscal analyses of 2023 legislation to institute universal voucher eligibility in Florida, which was signed into law last month.

Register now for the PFPS webinar on Thursday, April 20 at 2 pm ET. The conversation will be moderated by Dr. Danielle Farrie, Research Director at Education Law Center.

About the speakers:

Samuel E. Abrams, Ph.D., is the director of the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education, Teachers College, Columbia University, and the author of Education and the Commercial Mindset (Harvard University Press, 2016). He is serving during the current academic year as a Fulbright visiting professor at the University of Turku in Finland.

Steven Koutsavlis is a Ph.D. candidate in education policy at Teachers College, Columbia University, and a veteran math teacher at MS 443 in Brooklyn. He is a research associate at the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education.

Mary McKillip, Ph.D., is a Senior Researcher at Education Law Center, leading ELC’s research examining the fairness of state funding systems through analyses of resource equity within states. Prior to joining ELC, she managed school discipline and health survey data collection and analyses at the NJ Department of Education and conducted research at the College Board.

Norín Dollard, Ph.D., is Senior Policy Analyst and Director of KIDS COUNT at Florida Policy Institute. She has more than 30 years of health services research and evaluation experience in Florida and New York in the area of behavioral health needs of children and families across child-serving systems.

To access previous PFPS webinars and additional tools for advocates, please click here.

join our network

Search Results