Just as we predicted at the start of the year, 2023 has been the year of school choice. Seven states adopted ambitious school choice measures this year and five more expanded existing programs. North Carolina, Texas, and Pennsylvania are getting close to the enactment of programs where the dollars follow the students.
The teacher unions are getting desperate as their education monopoly is in danger of crumbling like the Berlin Wall.
In retaliation, that sweetheart Randi Weingarten (the teacher union president who did more than anyone in America to shut down the schools and keep them closed), is accusing parental rights groups and school choice advocates of being motivated by racism. That’s an allegation that has become the last refuge of scoundrels.
You can watch Randi’s rant here:
She fumes that those who use the terms “school choice” and “parental rights” are “attempting to divide parents versus teachers,” likening these education freedom activists’ rhetoric to the southern segregationists in the 1950s who wanted to keep black kids out of white schools. She claims that if the school choice movement succeeds, it will be “white parents versus other parents.”
Our friends at the Daily Signal point out that “Weingarten’s talking points heavily echo the Southern Poverty Law Center, a far-left organization notorious for branding mainstream conservative and Christian nonprofits as ‘hate groups’ or ‘antigovernment extremists’ and placing them on a map with chapters of the Ku Klux Klan.”
The segregation argument is a non sequitur because the biggest beneficiaries of school choice programs are minority children and those from low-income families who can’t afford superior private school alternatives. It’s the unions and Democrat politicians who are the modern-day George Wallace, blocking the doors of good schools to prevent black and Hispanic children from entering. THEY are the modern segregationists.
Here’s another big problem with this specious argument, that school choice will lead to more segregation. There have been seven major studies on the impact of private school choice programs on the racial profile of these schools. Six of them found MORE racial integration in the private choice schools than in the public schools. School choice is the best way to achieve real desegregation. It is the civil rights issue of our time.