Mitt Romney unveiled a plan yesterday that will do more to provide upward social mobility for the poor and disabled than any proposal on the table today. “As President,” he said, “I will give the parents of every low-income and special needs student the chance to choose where their child goes to school. For the first time in history, federal education funds will be linked to a student, so that parents can send their child to any public or charter school, or to a private school, where permitted.”
It is scandalous that those who rhetorically champion the interests of the poor also do the most to keep them in their place. Wedded to the teachers’ unions, the so-called advocates of the poor are scared to death of change. Which is why Romney is correct to say that we are now faced with a “national education emergency.”
It is worse than scandalous—it is obscene—that the current administration has worked overtime to deny poor black parents in Washington, D.C. the same right to choose which school they want to send their children to as the rich have. At the end of 2008, President-elect Obama and his wife shopped around for the best school to send their children to, and they opted for an expensive private school. Yet in 2009 the president, and the Democrat-controlled Congress, killed a stunningly successful voucher program in D.C. In other words, the public schools that weren’t good enough for the Obama children were declared good enough for “them.”
Kudos to Mitt Romney for advancing such an equitable education policy. Score one for social justice.