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FACT: Elizabeth Warren Never Supported Private School Vouchers

Elizabeth believes that every child has the right to a quality public education, regardless of where they live. She has never supported private school vouchers.

Conservatives like to claim Elizabeth’s ideas in The Two-Income Trap line up with their private school voucher proposals. America Rising and the American Enterprise Institute claim Elizabeth and Betsy DeVos’ voucher proposals were the same, but this isn’t true. People like Betsy DeVos, who famously called public schools a “dead end,” seek to strip funding from public education and give it to private schools in the form of vouchers. They claim their proposals are about increasing options for children and parents, but they’re really just about taking taxpayer money from the most vulnerable students and sending it to unaccountable private schools.

Elizabeth believes private school voucher programs are dangerous, cost taxpayers billions of dollars, would destroy public education, and have been used to further racial and socioeconomic segregation. She has never supported private school vouchers.

In The Two-Income Trap, Elizabeth — one of the leading bankruptcy scholars in the country — wrote  about how the lack of investment in public schools stretched parents thin. Parents were buying houses they couldn’t afford because they were trying to provide their children with the best education.  

Elizabeth recognized that the only alternative parents had to an underfunded and under-resourced school was to send their kids to private school. That’s why, Elizabeth suggested that one solution might be to allow kids to attend any public school, not just a local one tied to particular zip codes.

Elizabeth’s alternative was about allowing parents to live in houses they could afford without worrying about whether they were in a good school district, and she argued her alternative could eliminate the resource disparities between school districts.

Read for yourself what she wrote back in 2003:

Short of buying a new home, parents currently have only one way to escape a failing public school: Send the kids to private school. But there is another alternative, one that would keep much-needed tax dollars inside the public school system while still reaping the advantages offered by a voucher program. Local governments could enact meaningful reform by enabling parents to choose from among all the public schools in a locale, with no presumptive assignment based on neighborhood.” 

Local governments could enact meaningful reform by enabling parents to choose from among all the public schools in a locale, with no presumptive assignment based on neighborhood.

The key word here, of course, is “public.” In 2017, Elizabeth was asked about her suggestion in The Two-Income Trap and again reiterated that the idea is about finding ways to allow children to attend different public schools, not to divert resources away from private schools to subsidize attendance at private schools.

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Today I’m The Daughter Of A Maintenance Man Who Became A Public School Teacher, A Professor, And A United States Senator Because America Invested In Educating Kids Like Me And Invested In Teachers.
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