Should tax dollars support private schools?

For more than two decades, states and school districts around the country have experimented with a variety of programs offering vouchers, tax credits, scholarships, and savings accounts to allow families to send their children to private, sometimes religiously affiliated, schools instead of public schools.

The programs, including many that Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has said she favors expanding, have triggered debates over the separation of church and state, equity in school funding, and the purpose of public school.

Rand Quinn
Rand Quinn, associate professor in the Graduate School of Education

In an article in Phi Delta Kappan, Penn GSE’s Rand Quinn and co-author Tina Cheuk, of Stanford, offer an overview on the state of vouchers under the Trump administration and new research on Americans’ views.

Quinn and Cheuk’s findings suggest this issue will continue to be hotly contested.

“We found that about half of adults support publicly funded school vouchers while almost a third are opposed and that public opinion on school vouchers varied across the political spectrum,” they write. “Not too surprisingly, respondents who identified as liberal had more negative views of school vouchers than those who identified as conservative.”

Read more at Penn GSE.