Last Friday in his Inaugural Address, President Donald Trump gave his opinion regarding the condition of our taxpayer funded “public” (government-run) schools. We have, President Trump said, “an education system, flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of knowledge.”
On Sunday, American Thinker’s Thomas Lifson commented on President Trump’s speech:
With the confirmation of [Education Secretary nominee] Betsy DeVos being held up by Senate Democrats, the hour has come for complete honesty on the failure of the one-size-fits-all government schools. Parents in the inner cities are desperate to get their kids into charter schools or voucher programs. Standing in the government schoolhouse door, preventing the kids from leaving, are the teachers unions, whose sole concern is the prosperity and job security of the members that pay the dues funneled into Democratic Party coffers, causing the opposition to DeVos to be bitter to the end.
The nomination of Betsy DeVos, a long-time advocate and financial supporter of charter schools and vouchers, cheered many long-time supporters of genuine school reform and school choice.
Reaction to the DeVos nomination from Leftists has been hostility. Over at the National Review, Heather Wilhelm writes that “school choice is scary stuff, especially for those entrenched in the current system.” Wilhelm notes that there has been a “horrow show surrounding DeVos’s nomination,” proving just how much is “at stake in the school-choice wars.”
Bishop Lance Davis of New Zion Covenant Church in Dolton, a longtime school choice advocate, passionately points out:
School Choice is not about dollars and cents; it’s about equipping our children and grandchildren with a high quality education that will prepare them to compete in an ever-evolving and ever-changing world. Additionally, school choice holds schools accountable to those who fund the schools (US) and not those who seek to make a living off of them.
Bishop Davis also pointed out:
Families in lower-income neighborhoods and in minority communities have no choice as it relates to where their children attend school. There is no good reason to deny these options to all families in America. Inequality in education is an injustice which can only be remedied if we empower parents to make choices for their children. We know that students who take advantage of school choice benefit from it, but school choice is shown to strengthen government schools and surrounding communities as well.
It is not just DeVos’s views on education that are a problem for Leftists, however, as Heather Wilhelm also points out, publications like The New Republic are in a panic because she is a “socially conservative Christian,” representing “the worst of the school choice movement.”
Because of her conservative Christianity, DeVos is a “religious zealot” and “doesn’t belong in a government job in which separation of church and state is crucial,” huffed the Huffington Post.
For those who wail about the separation of church and state — an argument often aimed at vouchers or, to a lesser extent, education tax credits, which can be used to pay for private or religious schools — it’s worth pointing out that we’re talking about the taxpayers’ own money. This money is helpfully taken by the state, wound through the system, skimmed off the top, and then returned at a lower rate. It’s also worth pointing out that widespread school choice — and the ability of parents to send their children to schools that echo their religious or personal beliefs — would defuse many of the child-related culture wars wreaking havoc today.
The Federalist’s Senior Editor David Harsanyi wrote in an op ed titled “The Democrats’ Fight against School Choice Is Immoral“:
There’s something perverse about an ideology that views the disposing of an unborn child in the third trimester of pregnancy as an indisputable right but the desire of parents to choose a school for their kids as zealotry.
“Americans want great schools for their children,” President Trump also said last Friday, and he called that desire a “just and reasonable” demand of a “righteous public.”
To learn more about the current challenges in our taxpayer funded education system as well as the many proposed solutions, visit the archive of articles here.
UPDATE: Truth Revolt has a new post up addressing the DeVos nomination:
Dems Blocking DeVos Confirmation buy Forcing Her to Answer Nearly 1400 Written Questions
“25 times as many follow-up questions as Republicans asked of either of President Obama’s education secretaries.”
First published by the Illinois Family Institute.