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Giving Compass' Take:
• In this Cato Institute opinion piece, Corey A. DeAngelis and Ben DeGrow argue that the National Education Association is misusing facts to demonize private schools and school choice.
• What is the best way to increase educational opportunities for students? Are improving public schools and increasing school choice mutually exclusive?
• To learn about one study which suggests that private schools offer no advantages over public schools, click here.
When it comes to the educational choices families make, the nation’s largest teachers union can’t get its facts straight. Mythology propagated by the National Education Association (NEA), along with others, needs to be set straight.
“Diverting funds to private schools reduces the revenue available for public schools which educate 9 out of 10 students,” the National Education Association proclaims in a training document (slide 89). The president of the NEA, Lily Eskelsen García, also claims that “90 percent of our kids” attend public schools. The alleged fact has been echoed by other choice opponents.
The claim suggests that money belongs to schools and that society should not concern itself with the wishes of a small number of households. The claim also implies that the “90 percent” of kids in residentially assigned public schools would remain there if they were given the option to leave.
But wait — the number behind the NEA’s main talking point isn’t even correct.
The “90 percent” claims are intended to count only students in conventional school districts overseen by elected boards of education. After all, the same NEA presentation declares on slide 41 that charter schools are “private schools using public money.” Of course, that’s nonsense. Charter schools are public schools. They are prohibited from charging tuition and required to accept all students who apply, holding random admission lotteries when public demand exceeds capacity. Charter schools must also abide by federal laws regarding students’ rights, safety and special needs students.
Read the full article about private school funding misinformation by Corey A. DeAngelis and Ben DeGrow at Cato Institute.