Catholic League president Bill Donohue looks at how the states deal with school choice initiatives:
There are 13 states that are most known for their school choice initiatives: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, New Hampshire, Texas, Utah and West Virginia. Republican lawmakers are the dominant party in all 13 states; and all have a Republican governor, save for Kansas and Louisiana.
We looked at 13 of the most prominent states (including the District of Columbia) that are run by Democrats to see how they handle school choice. Compared to states run by Republicans, they don’t fare too well.
Twelve of them provide for limited school choice options: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, D.C., Maryland, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maine, California, Oregon and Washington. One of them—California—provides no financial assistance, either in the form of vouchers or tax credits; it also has no private school choice plan.
The Democrats say they are the party that best represents the interests of “people of color.” Yet they are the ones who oppose the very school choice programs that are overwhelmingly favored by African Americans, Asians and Hispanics.
The following section is taken from my new book, War on Virtue.
- Jesse Jackson opposes school choice. But he sent his children to the best private schools.
- Senator Ted Kennedy was ready to conduct a filibuster over a bill that would have given D.C. parents school choice. He sent his children to private schools.
- Hillary Clinton is an ardent foe of school choice. She made sure her daughter went to the prestigious Sidwell Friends School in D.C.
- President Obama, another anti-school choice politician, also sent his daughters to Sidwell Friends.
- President Biden sent his children to private schools. But he opposes school choice for others.
- Vice President Kamala Harris, an enemy of school choice, sent her stepchildren to private schools.
- Nancy Pelosi spent a small fortune sending her children to the most expensive private schools. But she argues that “private school vouchers are a bad idea.”
- Former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio sent his kids to elite public schools (which he later tried to crush) and to private schools. He went so far as to say, “I am angry about the state of public education in America. I am angry at the privatizers. I am sick and tired of these efforts to privatize a precious things\ we need—public education.”
San Francisco has earned a reputation as a left-wing city. Though the city is 48 percent white, only 15 percent of white children go to public schools. “For all its vaunted progressivism,” the New York Times says, “it has some of the highest private school enrollment numbers in the country—and many of those private schools have remained open.”
Harvard education professor Paul E. Peterson wryly notes that “a fifth of all school teachers with school-age children has placed a child in a private school, and nearly three out of ten have used one or more of the main alternatives to the traditional public school.” In fact, “school teachers are much more likely to use a private school than are other parents.”
This is worse than hypocrisy.
The welfare of children is being sabotaged by the public school establishment. If the schools that public school teachers work at aren’t good enough for their own children, why are they good enough for those who can’t afford to escape them? To top things off, it is the teachers’ unions—the ones who fund the Democratic party—who are out to destroy charter schools and who oppose school choice.
As I’ve said before, it is typically those who scream the loudest about helping blacks who are their biggest enemy. Blacks don’t need the help of patronizing white liberals—they need access to the same kinds of schools that the elites can afford.