Pete Buttigieg

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The candidate is the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, a city with public schools that have been ravaged by the proliferation of charters and vouchers. And yet, we could not find any statements by its mayor criticizing the loss of funding caused by privatization.

2011 and 2015

Campaign finance data does not appear to be available online for Pete Buttigieg’s two mayoral campaigns.

Records from his 2011 campaign have allegedly been destroyed.



In response to a question and a follow up from reporters at an event at Northeastern University, Buttigieg said charter schools “have a place” as “a laboratory for techniques that can be replicated.”


At a small, private campaign event in Iowa Buttigieg was asked about the privatization of public education through charters and vouchers. Specifically, he was asked when it was okay for public funds to be spent on private education. He responded that it was okay as long as there is a supplemental source of funding that doesn’t come at the expense of public education.

He said that the rise of for-profit charters needs be stopped, but that he doesn’t want to be “dogmatic” about “non-profit, University driven” charters.


During Buttigieg’s tenure as mayor the number of students utilizing vouchers to attend private schools in South Bend dramatically increased.


The public school district lost enrollment for 4 straight years to vouchers and charter schools, triggering talk of cutting staff, eliminating programs and closing schools.

We can not however find any public statements made by the candidate related to vouchers.


At his campaign kickoff event, Buttigieg said, “Empowering teachers means freedom, because you are not free in your own classroom if your ability to do your job is reduced to a number on a page.”


Buttigieg’s husband has a Master’s degree in Education. He has taught drama to autistic students in Milwaukee, and has been a substitute teacher in Chicago and South Bend. Most recently he taught at a private Montessori school in South Bend.

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