To public education bureaucrats, giving parents the power to choose a school is racist.
When public education bureaucrats launch ideological attacks on anyone supporting freedom, the media will describe the baseless assault as some kind of direct hit. And because such leftists can’t think of anything else to say, inevitably they use racism as their main accusation.
Thus the USA Today headline: “Teachers union boss skewers Betsy DeVos on vouchers, likening them to ‘cousins’ of segregation.”
How is school choice like “segregation”? Segregation was about restricting black parents from sending their students to the best public schools. School choice is about giving black parents the power to send their students to the best schools, whether public or private.
In a blistering speech slated to be delivered to more than 1,400 teachers here on Thursday, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten likens U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to a climate-change denier, saying DeVos refuses to acknowledge “the good in our public schools and their foundational place in our democracy.”
In her speech, to be delivered at the union’s traditional summer conference, Weingarten says the Trump administration’s school choice plans are secretly intended to starve funding from public schools. She calls taxpayer-funded private school vouchers, tuition tax credits and the like “only slightly more polite cousins of segregation.”
An advance draft copy of the speech was obtained by USA TODAY.
Vouchers, tax credits and private, for-profit charter schools, she alleges, “hide a dangerous ideological agenda” that destabilizes public schools. “And when a family chooses a private school, in reality it is the school and not the family that makes the choice.”
In addition, Weingarten says, many private schools can — and do — discriminate against students because they’re exempt from federal civil rights laws.
A longtime Michigan school choice advocate and GOP mega-donor, DeVos has championed both public- and private-school choice, saying the ability of families to pick a school that suits their child is an elemental right.
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