education

Do you support using public money in the form of vouchers or tax credits for private or religious school education?

No

No

Michael Bennet (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, Colorado

Bennet is no longer running for president. Bennet does not support using public money for private or religious education, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Michael Bennet
Bennet

Cory Booker (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, New Jersey

Booker is no longer running for president. “No — the evidence has become clear that vouchers do not help — and in fact, hurt — the cause of educational equity,” Booker told The Post. “We must do everything we can, including pursuing smart reforms, to ensure that every kid, no matter their zip code, has access to an outstanding public school education.” His Dec. 2019 public education plan pledges to “oppose public funding for vouchers and tax credits that take money away from public schools and send money to private schools.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Cory Booker
Booker

Steve Bullock (Dropped out)

Governor, Montana

Bullock is no longer running for president. “Public money should be used to improve public schools, not diverted to private or religious institutions,” Bullock told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

Pete Buttigieg (Dropped out)

Former mayor, South Bend, Ind.

Buttigieg is no longer running for president. “Because public dollars should fund public schools, [Buttigieg] will continue to oppose the implementation of any federal school voucher program,” his education plan said.

Candidate positions highlighted
Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

Julian Castro (Dropped out)

Former mayor, San Antonio

Castro is no longer running for president. Castro does not support using public money for private or religious education, he told The Post.

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Julian Castro
Castro

Kirsten Gillibrand (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, New York

Gillibrand is no longer running for president. Gillibrand does not support using public money for private or religious education, she told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Kirsten Gillibrand
Gillibrand

John Hickenlooper (Dropped out)

Former governor, Colorado

Hickenlooper is no longer running for president. “No. I support parents in their commitment to select the best school for their student but would not support the use of publicly-funded vouchers for private or religious school education,” Hickenlooper told The Post.

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John Hickenlooper
Hickenlooper

Amy Klobuchar (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar is no longer running for president. Klobuchar does not support using public money for private or religious education, she told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Beto O'Rourke (Dropped out)

Former U.S. representative, Texas

O'Rourke is no longer running for president. “No. Beto opposes private school vouchers. His priority will be to increase support for our public school system,” a campaign spokesperson told The Post.

Jul. 5: “We will not allow a single public tax dollar to be taken out of our public school classrooms, turned into vouchers, and sent to private schools. #NEARA19”

Candidate positions highlighted
Beto O'Rourke
O'Rourke

Tim Ryan (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, Ohio

Ryan is no longer running for president. Ryan does not support using public money for private or religious education, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tim Ryan
Ryan

Bernie Sanders (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, Vermont

Sanders is no longer running for president. Sanders does not support using public money for private or religious education, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Joe Sestak (Dropped out)

Former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania

Sestak is no longer running for president. Sestak does not support using public money for private or religious education, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Sestak
Sestak

Tom Steyer (Dropped out)

Billionaire activist

Steyer is no longer running for president. Steyer does not support using public money for private or religious education, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tom Steyer
Steyer

Elizabeth Warren (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

Warren is no longer running for president. “I believe tax dollars should stay in our public schools, period,” Warren told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Marianne Williamson (Dropped out)

Author

Williamson is no longer running for president. “No. Parents who want to send their children to private or religious schools are free to do so, but the government should not pay for it,” Williamson told The Post. “The government provides free education for all through public schools.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Unclear/no response

Unclear/no response

Joe Biden

Former vice president

Biden did not provide an answer to this question.

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Joe Biden
Biden

Mike Bloomberg (Dropped out)

Former New York mayor

Bloomberg is no longer running for president. Bloomberg did not answer this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Mike Bloomberg
Bloomberg

Bill de Blasio (Dropped out)

Mayor, New York City

de Blasio is no longer running for president. De Blasio did not provide an answer to this question.

Candidate positions highlighted
Bill de Blasio
de Blasio

John Delaney (Dropped out)

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

Delaney is no longer running for president. Delaney did not provide an answer to this question.

Candidate positions highlighted
John Delaney
Delaney

Tulsi Gabbard (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, Hawaii

Gabbard is no longer running for president. Gabbard did not provide an answer to this question.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Kamala D. Harris (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, California

Harris is no longer running for president. Harris did not provide an answer to this question.

Candidate positions highlighted
Kamala Harris
Harris

Jay Inslee (Dropped out)

Governor, Washington state

Inslee is no longer running for president. Inslee did not provide an answer to this question.

Candidate positions highlighted
Jay Inslee
Inslee

Seth Moulton (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, Massachusetts

Moulton is no longer running for president. Moulton did not provide an answer to this question.

Candidate positions highlighted
Seth Moulton
Moulton

Deval Patrick (Dropped out)

Former governor, Massachusetts

Patrick is no longer running for president. Patrick did not answer this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Deval Patrick
Patrick

Andrew Yang (Dropped out)

Tech entrepreneur

Yang is no longer running for president. Yang did not provide an answer to this question.

Candidate positions highlighted
Andrew Yang
Yang

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Background School vouchers have always been more popular among Republicans than Democrats, but some Democrats have supported them as a way to give poor children in unappealing schools more options.

How candidate positions were compiled

The Washington Post sent a detailed questionnaire to every Democratic presidential campaign asking whether it supports various changes to U.S. education policy. Candidates with similar stances were organized into groups using a combination of those answers, legislative records, action taken in an executive role and other public comments, such as policy discussion on campaign websites, social media posts, interviews, town hall meetings and other news reports. See something we missed? Let us know.

This page will update as we learn more about the candidates’ plans. We also will note if candidates change their position on an issue. At initial publication, this page included major candidates who had announced a run for president. If a candidate dropped out after a question was published here, their stance is included under the "Show former candidates" option. If they dropped out before a question was first published, the Post did not reach out to get their stance.

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Candidate illustrations by Ben Kirchner.