Candidates' positions are categorized as Pro (Yes), Con (No), Not Clearly Pro or Con, or None Found. Candidates who have changed their positions are listed as Now their most recent position. Candidates are listed by party and in alphabetical order by last name. Black & white photos indicate candidates who have withdrawn or who no longer meet our criteria for inclusion.
Should the federal government fund private school voucher programs?
Gary Johnson, former Governor of New Mexico, issued the following statement through his Communications Director, Joe Hunter, in a Oct. 9, 2012 email to ProCon.org:
"Having proposed, as Governor of New Mexico, a statewide voucher program, I am a staunch advocate of education vouchers and education choices. However, I strongly oppose federal funding of such vouchers. We can't afford it, and we need to leave education to the states - without federal funding and the strings that go along with it." Oct. 9, 2012 Gary Johnson
[Editor's Note: On Mar. 29, 2011 the Executive Office of the President released a "Statement of Administration Policy," available at www.whitehouse.gov, on HR 471 - the "Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Act." It contained the following statement:
"While the Administration appreciates that H.R. 471 would provide Federal support for improving public schools in the District of Columbia (D.C.), including expanding and improving high-quality D.C. public charter schools, the Administration opposes the creation or expansion of private school voucher programs that are authorized by this bill. The Federal Government should focus its attention and available resources on improving the quality of public schools for all students. Private school vouchers are not an effective way to improve student achievement...
While the President's FY 2012 Budget requests funding to improve D.C. public schools and expand high-quality public charter schools, the Administration opposes targeting resources to help a small number of individuals attend private schools rather than creating access to great public schools for every child.] Mar. 29, 2011 Barack Obama
Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts, stated the following in his May 23, 2012 education whitepaper "A Chance for Every Child: Mitt Romney's Plan for Restoring the Promise of American Education," available at www.mittromney.com:
"Giving students trapped in bad schools a genuine alternative requires four things: (1) such alternatives must exist, (2) parents must receive clear information about the performance of their current school and of the alternatives, (3) students must be allowed to move to a new school, and (4) students must bring funding with them so that new schools can afford to serve them...
Make Title I and IDEA funds portable so that eligible students can choose which school to attend and bring funding with them. This plan will allow the student to choose from any district or public charter school, or a private school where permitted by state law, or to use funds toward a tutoring provider or digital course...
Require states to adopt open-enrollment policies for students receiving Title I and IDEA funds, and to eliminate caps on charter and digital schools." May 23, 2012 Mitt Romney
Jill Stein, MD, former Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, stated the following on Sep. 20, 2010, on her 2010 gubernatorial campaign website jillstein.org, on the page titled "Issues," available at www.web.archive.org:
"In Massachusetts, our public schools and colleges are the cornerstone of our democracy and provide the foundation for our citizens' economic success. But now this vital system is under sustained attack from privatization interests who undermine public schools as part of an effort to advance charter school interests.
The funding of education is clearly at a crisis point. Years of neglect, fiscal mismanagement, and promotion of privatization have combined with a budget shortfall to seriously threaten the viability of our public education system. If we tilt toward privatization, it will produce a stratified collection of schools that will make education more expensive, separate schools from their communities, and lead inevitably to the abandonment of the concept of equal access to education. Party leaders are now actively promoting charter school encroachment." Sep. 20, 2010 Jill Stein