Debates of the Century: "Public funds should be used to support private school vouchers."

6:30pm - 8:00pm
April 25, 2017
6:30pm - 8:00pm

The Century Foundation and NYU Wagner are proud to present Debates of the Century @NYU Wagner, a public debate series showcasing thoughtful, informed dialogue from experts. Join us on April 25, 2017 to hear the experts debate the resolution:

"Public funds should be used to support private school vouchers."

Twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia currently have private school choice programs. That number could rapidly climb in light of a Trump Administration and DeVos-led Department of Education proposal that devotes $20 billion in federal spending to create a comprehensive program supporting students who attend private schools.

Advocates from both sides of the aisle disagree about the efficacy and fairness of such programs—and results from research are mixed. Proponents of vouchers point out that low-income children—too often stuck in failing public schools—deserve the opportunity to choose superior private options just like their more affluent peers. Skeptics observe that private school vouchers divert funding from public schools, voucher students’ academic outcomes are difficult to measure or inconsistent, and some students might lose certain civil rights protections in private schools.

What are the risks and rewards of using public money to fund private schooling? Who benefits, and who gets left behind? Join us for a debate on private school vouchers to hear the answers to these questions and more. Arguing that vouchers are good for student achievement will be Michael Petrilli, award-winning author and president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. Century Foundation senior fellow Richard Kahlenberg will argue on behalf of these skeptics who fear vouchers do more harm than good. Moderating this debate will be award-winning journalist and frequent New York Times contributor Kyle Spencer.

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