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WATCH: What You Need to Know About School Vouchers (in 90 Seconds)

January 25, 2017

Talking Points

Instant expert: What you need to know about school vouchers (in 90 seconds)

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See more coverage of School Choice Week 2017.

In honor of National School Choice Week, The 74 is launching a series of videos explaining the different types of public and private school choice programs currently available to families in different states.

Today, a breakdown of school vouchers — and where they may well fit into President Trump’s broader education agenda:

Five things parents should know about school vouchers:

176,000: An estimated 176,000 American students across more than a dozen states pay for private school using vouchers. Vouchers let families who don’t want to send their children to local public schools use public funds for private school tuition.

Every school is different: States give private schools public funds to subsidize all or part of tuition for students. Some private schools agree not to charge more than the amount of the voucher. Vouchers are typically for less than what the state would pay to educate a child in public school.

Three types of students: Traditionally, vouchers serve three groups of students — children from low-income families, children with disabilities and children attending chronically failing schools.

Religious schools: Some states let parents use vouchers for religious schools. Others prohibit this, citing separation of church and state.

$20 billion: While a candidate, President Trump suggested making vouchers available to more low-income students by giving states $20 billion in federal school aid to use for vouchers.

See more coverage of School Choice Week 2017.