What are Vouchers?

Private school vouchers redirect public money to private educational uses. Private school vouchers go by several names, including traditional private school vouchers, tax credit vouchers, or education savings account vouchers. No matter the name, private school vouchers all function to undermine public education and publicly subsidize private education.

These are the most common types of private school vouchers:

Traditional Private School Vouchers

Traditional vouchers pay for all or part of a student’s private school tuition with direct payments from a public treasury. States may impose student eligibility requirements, limits on voucher amounts and/or conditions on private schools receiving voucher students.

Tax Credit Vouchers

More than one-third of states provide individuals or corporations with up to a 100%, dollar-for-dollar credit to send what they would otherwise owe in taxes to private organizations. These private organizations then fund private school vouchers to pay for K-12 students’ private school tuition.

Education Savings Account Vouchers (ESA)

ESA vouchers are public funds (generally a percentage of the amount provided by the state to each public school for each student) deposited into a personal account that can be used to pay for a student’s private school tuition or other education expenses, such as tutoring, online coursework, transportation, or homeschooling.

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