The Human Cost Of Failed Corporate For-Profit School Choice

Reveal / Center for Investigative Reporting (8/17/19)

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos wants to create the first-ever federal school voucher-type program. Vouchers pay for K-12 tuition at private schools.

What’s the track record? We investigate Louisiana’s voucher program, which started 10 years ago, promising a better education for low-income students. Jess Clark of WWNO follows single mom Dominique Martin as she tries to find a good voucher school for her daughter Demi.

Taxpayers in Louisiana pay $40 million every year for private school tuition, and those dollars help keep private schools afloat. Clark digs into the books of one for-profit school where the tuition of every single student is paid for by the state. She finds out the limits of transparency, even at schools getting public funds.

Host Al Letson wraps up, putting it all into context of local culture and national politics.

We teamed up with three Louisiana news organizations – public radio station WWNO, Fox 8 WVUE and / The Times-Picayune – to cover this story. It’s part of Reveal’s Local Labs initiative to support newsrooms across the country as they tackle important local issues.

Link to Story and 51-Minute Audio

  • Want to Dig Deeper? Check Out The Reveal & Center For Investigative Reporting Archive On Corporate For-Profit Private Schools — Our series of stories on the Louisiana Scholarship Program as part of our Local Labs initiative: Link to Archive

(Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2019. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to )