Should Taxpayers Fund School Choice? TC's Sam Abrams Debates the Question | Teachers College Columbia University

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Should Taxpayers Fund School Choice? TC’s Sam Abrams Debates the Question

To listen to the debate click play icon above.

Sam Abrams, director of TC’s National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education and author of Education and the Commercial Mindset, participated in an Oxford-style, public debate on whether taxpayer funding should follow children to schools that their parents select, or go directly to pay the costs of the existing system.

In a debate organized by, Abrams took the negative position on the proposition that “parents should have the choice to opt out of public schools and redirect the taxpayer tuition money for their children to other approved schools or educational options.” Bob Bowdon, the executive director of the education news site ChoiceMedia, argued in favor.

The live event in New York City was hosted by the Soho Forum, Reason’s monthly libertarian-themed debate series. At the beginning of the event, attendees get to vote on the evening's resolution. After the debaters have had their say, the audience votes again, and the side that's gained the most ground wins the contest.

Bowdon started out the evening with 60 percent of the audience on his side and picked up one percent. Abrams had 21 percent at the outset and added 11 percent. Since Abrams gained more ground, he won the debate.

Published Friday, Jul 14, 2017