Washington politicians kow-towing to powerful teacher unions may have successfully choked out school choice in Washington, D.C., but parents are not standing by without making their displeasure known.
Yesterday 1,000 parents and students rallied at Freedom Plaza in D.C. to protest the killing off of the choice program that gave many hundreds of children the chance to get out of dangerous, failing schools, and into private schools where they could excel.
Despite a recent study showing that children who participated in this program read at half a grade level better than students in public schools, unions and their sycophantic political puppets have smugly told parents that their dream of something better for their children is over. Now, students who have been able to get a taste of safe, high quality learning environments are left with no option but to return to some of the worst public schools in the nation; schools that President Obama and his administration have praised, and then avoided for their own families.
There is little difference between the gross hypocrisy and underhanded treatment of low-income families in D.C., and the way politicians and education bureaucrats are treating parents in South Carolina. Despite the widely-acknowledged educational failures of South Carolina’s public schools, elected officials are willing to hear the pleas of desperate parents, look at special needs students who are not having their needs met, and deliberately refuse to give them choices besides failing public schools. Any excuse will do for the people who already have their minds made up to ignore the needs of their own constituents: money, “accountability,” and “equity” are all used interchangeably to continue putting off people are too poor, and too little known to do them any political favors.
This must end in South Carolina. Like the families rallying in Washington, thousands have rallied in Columbia in support of school choice! Lawmakers are elected to hear the voices of the people, and act in their best interest. A close look at the continued putting-off of substantive education reform indicates that maybe re-election and political smooth-sailing are bigger motivators for many lawmakers in Columbia.