The Democrats and their left-wing allies—rather than prevent widespread educational failures during the Coronavirus pandemic—are intent on expanding educational disasters by opposing school choice. Unfortunately, they are not ashamed of their craven capitulation to left-wing unions despite their stated commitment to the notion of choice in virtually all other arenas of society.
Rather than allow more autonomy and flexibility in education during the pandemic, rather than guarantee all students access to computers, the Internet, and virtual learning opportunities, and rather than allow private and parent-led groups to gain government approval by meeting various preconditions set by authorizing authorities to provide alternatives, the Left has doubled down on their deep-seated opposition to choice and private school vouchers.
Indeed, the Democrat Party’s 2020 education platform has as one of its major goals the outright elimination of private school vouchers despite the fact that a poll commissioned by the American Federation for Children shows that most voters, including 82 percent of Latinos and 68 percent of African Americans, support using taxpayer dollars to send their child to a school that “best serves their needs.”
While the Left frequently claims they are focused on advancing the education of schoolchildren, and while they often trumpet their allegedly serious efforts to eliminate disadvantages suffered by members of minority groups, their actions, taken together, reveal quite the opposite.
Instead of advancing justice and educational competence, their policies are likely to exacerbate disadvantage, expand human subordination, and continue a pattern of failure that evokes memories of school segregation and the days of “separate but equal” discrimination. We should never forget the active role the Democrat Party took in expanding this pattern of human exclusion best exemplified by the institution of Jim Crow laws in the South. This pattern of dismissing the interests of parents, children, and members of minorities groups is arguably at the core of the Democrats’ commitment to Progressive policies ever since Democrat Party icon, President Woodrow Wilson re-segregated the United States Civil Service in the early 1900s and threw civil rights leader William Trotter out of the White House.
At the same time, of course, teachers unions like the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) seek to ban new charter schools in Los Angeles and elsewhere. Not content with banning charter schools, UTLA has also demanded the enactment of Medicare for All, new state-level wealth taxes, and a federal bailout of the Los Angeles United School District, which is apparently struggling to meet its pension obligations.
This widespread effort to put union interests first and shut down competent competition includes teachers unions’ demand that states shut down virtual learning opportunities. For example, in Oregon, “evidently bowing to pressure from left-wing teachers unions, Governor Brown has effectively shut down online charter education, issuing an order that ‘closed all public charter schools as defined in ORS 338.005(2). . . . This definition includes virtual public charter schools.’”
This outrageous pattern of putting the interests of teachers unions ahead of the needs of schoolchildren, and particularly minority schoolchildren, is consistent with the dismal pattern of human exclusion established by Progressives during the Progressive Era and beyond. No wonder cities throughout the United States under the incompetent leadership of the Left have failed to meet the educational needs of minority parents and schoolchildren for generations.
This ongoing pattern of failure, which honors the legacy of President Wilson, and this abdication of leadership by Democrats, Progressives, and left-wing unions must end, and must end now. There is simply too much at stake for America’s schoolchildren. As we have argued previously:
This unconscionable failure of leadership, and this appalling move to disenfranchise the disadvantaged among us, cannot be allowed to stand. This is particularly true since school districts continue to collect, and residents are compelled to pay, federal, state, and local taxes to deliver education.
While public education continues its downward skid, and while the radical Left continues its assault on American values, including basic educational competence, we at the ACLJ believe that school choice—vouchers and charter schools—tend to increase parental satisfaction and involvement, improve student safety, make public schools more accountable, and lead to higher graduation rates.
That is why the ACLJ has been at the forefront of expanding choice, and advancing justice within America’s educational system. Join us as the ACLJ takes on the forces of contempt and exclusion exemplified by the Democrat Party Platform and teachers unions’ opposition to choice of virtually any kind.
It is time to put America and American values ahead of party affiliation and the failed ideology of left-wingers. Join Us.
As we aggressively engage at the state level, the Supreme Court, and on Capitol Hill for school choice and justice for every child, we need your support.
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