Polls and pundits alike tell us that women care about security, health care, and education. It’s that last one they might want to think long and hard about before pulling the lever for a candidate this year – be it former Vice President Joe Biden or Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Minority voters should give the Democrats’ apparent scorn for school choice some thought as well since they are often the greatest beneficiaries of the program.
To shore up union voters, the Dems are doubling-down on their efforts to end school choice. In a recent editorial, the Las Vegas Review-Journal called out Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) for her outspoken contempt of school choice. It rightly pointed out that Dems like AOC “…aren’t opposed to school choice. They’re opposed to school choice for other people’s children (emphasis added).”
The New York Post reported that a 2017 Facebook video of AOC exposed the New York Democrat’s hypocrisy. It shows her crowing about how her goddaughter got into a charter school. But now, as she stumps for Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Ocasio-Cortez wants to ban “for-profit charter schools and impose a moratorium on new charter funding,” according to the Review-Journal.
So now we’re clear where the democratic socialists stand. But what about the so-called moderate frontrunner?
As for Biden, Liberty Nation’s Andrew Moran wrote, “Former Vice President Joe Biden is against federal funding for charter schools, though he used to be in favor of a voucher system when he was a senator.” In a 1997 Washington Post article, Biden was quoted as saying, “When you have an area of the country — and most often here we are talking about inner cities — where the public schools are abysmal or dysfunctional or not working and where most of the children have no way out, it is legitimate to ask what would happen to the public schools with increased competition from private schools,” he said. “Is it not possible that giving poor kids a way out will force the public schools to improve and result in more people coming back?”
Hear, hear, Mr. Biden.
Why the about-face on school choice right now? The Review-Journal says it all in this brief quote: “Many prominent Democrats kowtow to teachers unions by opposing school choice, which refers to programs that allow parents to choose the school their child attends — a public school, private school, home school or charter school.”
Over and over, statistics prove that giving parents a choice regarding which school their child can attend bodes well for the student. This is especially true for black children, according to an exhaustive study released last month by Ray Domanico, a Manhattan Institute senior fellow and director of education policy. In a statistical profile of New York’s K-12 educational sector, Domanico found that “20.6% of the city’s black students are in public charter schools, and 8.8% are in private schools.”
Now, why would a black inner-city parent send his or her child to another school? Could it be that the education is better? This leaves Biden and Sanders with little room to maneuver on such a vital voter issue.
Perhaps it’s all about control. Rich Lowry wrote in National Review, “Few things offend Bernie Sanders as much as people escaping from command-and-control government systems, even minority students whose parents are desperate to get their kids a decent education.” Lowry continued, “Sanders thus seeks to kneecap what has been an astonishingly successful experiment in urban education because it doesn’t fit nicely within his ideological preconceptions.”
Education should not begin and end at the public-only level for good reason: It’s not getting the job done. Liberty Nation’s Moran did the math and found:
“The government has 13 years with kids and spends about $13,000 per student every year. The results have been a skills gap, poor math and reading comprehension, young Americans unprepared for the 21st-century workforce, and too many students who study subjects that will prevent them from competing with their Asian counterparts. One can only imagine how the left would react if the private sector possessed a comparable putrid record. The free market system excels in every area of the economy, so it is not hard to fathom that it would do a better job than the Leviathan.”
Women and blacks make up a large portion of the Democratic base. As such, these voters might want to revisit their thoughts on state, local, and federal officials this year if they’re going to keep school choice as an option for their sons and daughters. The freedom to determine where your child will be educated is not pie-in-the-sky because it often determines whether a child fails or succeeds in life. Democrats know this, often take advantage of it, but apparently don’t want to provide their constituents with the same opportunity.
Read more from Leesa K. Donner.