School Choice Myths

Setting the Record Straight on Education Freedom

School Choice Myths front cover image

Are there legitimate arguments to prevent families from choosing the education that works best for their children? Opponents of school choice have certainly offered many objections, but for decades they have mainly repeated myths either because they did not know any better or perhaps to protect the government schooling monopoly.

In these pages, 14 of the top scholars in education policy debunk a dozen of the most pernicious myths, including “school choice siphons money from public schools,” “choice harms children left behind in public schools,” “school choice has racist origins,” and “choice only helps the rich get richer.” As the contributors demonstrate, even arguments against school choice that seem to make powerful intuitive sense fall apart under scrutiny. There are, frankly, no compelling arguments against funding students directly instead of public school systems.

School Choice Myths shatters the mythology standing in the way of education freedom. It is a one‐​stop guide to everything from the latest research on the effects of school choice on civic engagement to Supreme Court precedent, and a must‐​have for any combatant in the school choice wars, or anyone who just wants the best education for their children.

Praise for “School Choice Myths”

“Empowering parents to make decisions about their children’s schools can be a powerful tool for education reform. Dr. McCluskey and Dr. DeAngelis have done a profoundly important service with this book, which dispels myths about school choice and makes the substantive case for education freedom in America.”
—John Boehner, former speaker, U.S. House of Representatives

“School choice advocates are in a constant battle against myths about the true impact of choice on the lives of children. This book does us all a great service: it thoroughly dispels those myths.”
—Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida

“This book couldn’t have been better timed.… More than any other point in our history, Americans are open to radically rethinking how their children are educated thanks to the coronavirus crisis. School choice advocates are having their moment, and this book is their manifesto.”
—Bethany Mandel, editor at Ric​o​chet​.com and homeschooling mother of four

“School choice is one of the most pressing civil rights issues of our time. If you care about equity, justice, compassion and opportunity for America’s children, then you care about school choice—and you need this book. This guide is an invaluable defense of education choice policies that can shape the country for the better for generations to come.”
—Allie Beth Stuckey, host of the podcast Relatable

About the Editors

Corey A. DeAngelis is an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom. He is also the director of school choice at the Reason Foundation.

Neal P. McCluskey is the director of the Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom. He is the author and coeditor of several books, including Feds in the Classroom: How Big Government Corrupts, Cripples, and Compromises American Education and Unprofitable Schooling: Examining Causes of, and Fixes for, America’s Broken Ivory Tower.


Phillip W. Magness, Patrick J. Wolf, Tim Keller, Martin F. Lueken, Benjamin Scafidi, Matt Ladner, Albert A. Cheng, Lindsey M. Burke, Jason Bedrick, John Merrifield, Inez Feltscher Stepman, and Virginia Walden Ford.