SSN Memo

Privatizing K-12 Public Education: How The Profit Motive Changes Schools

Policy field

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University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus

Below is an excerpt from a memo written by Lawrence Baines and Jennie L. Hanna, May, 2020.

What are privatized schools? Privatized schools are schools that are funded by the public, but are run like private businesses. Privatized schools include charters, vouchers, Education Savings Accounts, and Tax Credit Scholarships.


Many privatized schools are not held accountable. Privatized schools are under no obligation to make records public or to abide by federal guidelines for special education, equal rights, and due process. While public schools are held accountable for every penny, most tax-supported privatized schools can do what they want with regard to curriculum, spending, and policy.