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Attacks on public education are nothing new, but the dictatorship handbook masquerading as a transition plan called Project 2025 poses a radical new attempt to destroy the American education system. More than 100 organizations have signed onto the “playbook” for an “effective conservative Administration,” which outlines actions to complete within the first 180 days of a new conservative administration. The document claims to represent the voice of all conservatives, but in reality puts forth extremist far-right policies. The education goals emphasize eradicating the Department of Education, creating a system of universal school choice, and banning the use of words including “gender,” “gender equity,” “diversity,” “equity,” and “inclusion” from “every federal rule, agency regulation, contract, grant, regulation, and piece of legislation that exists.”  

Project 2025 advocates redirecting taxes from funding public schools to funding parent choice in education. The plan also discusses defunding, or “restoring revenue responsibility to the states” for Title I, the main source of federal support for low-income schools across the country. Let’s be clear: These policies would decimate public education budgets across the country. Massive numbers of public schools would shut down, and educational inequality would skyrocket, particularly for low-income students.  

Project 2025 is littered with lies regarding the education system and what students are taught. Conservative activists readily admit this, with acolytes such as Christopher Rufo saying “To get to universal school choice, you really need to operate from a premise of universal public school distrust.” Project 2025’s forward mentions falsehoods such as the need to address “pornography invading school libraries.”  In actuality, book bans largely target topics like LGBTQ+ issues and racism. 

Opponents have long attempted to eradicate the Department of Education and privatize education spending, but threats like these raise particular concerns. These attacks have been on the rise, for instance, with the House Appropriations Committee proposing an 80% cut to Title I last year. In 2023, school privatization measures skyrocketed across the country. Eleven states expanded school choice programs and seven enacted new ones.  

Education advocates must fight these attacks on public education by addressing rampant misinformation and redirecting the conversation to the importance of fully funding public education. 

Educators launched the Protect Our Schools KY Campaign in response to Kentucky adding a “school choice” bill to the November ballot. Perry County educator Tiffany Combs said that teachers receive diminishing funding each year and a school voucher program will only exacerbate this issue. Combs also called public schools a “lifeline” for many students and families.  

Organized in 2021, the grassroots Georgia Youth Justice Coalition (GYJC) advocates for quality education for all students in the state. Since it began working, the group has secured funding to repair Title I schools and guarantee ADA compliance in schools. The GYJC publicly opposed Georgia’s Senate Bill 233, which will allow up to $6,000 of public funding to go toward a student’s private school tuition. The bill is scheduled to take effect in the 2025-2026 school year, but the GYJC continues to advocate against school vouchers.  

The Protect Our Schools KY Campaign provides a grassroots toolkit of logos and social media graphics that individuals can use to promote the campaign and fight the Voucher Amendment, which would divert public funds to private schools. 

Public Funds Public Schools offers a bill tracker that monitors school voucher bills being introduced and passed nationwide. The organization also advocates against school voucher programs and fights to ensure that public schools are appropriately funded. 

Kentucky Youth Advocates provides resources on legislative Wins for Kids and bill tracking  on legislation in the state that supports children and families.