August 20, 2021

Is School Choice Racist?

That’s what the Chicago Teachers Union asserts, even though minorities support it.

The Chicago Teachers Union recently posited that school choice has racist roots, therefore implying it shouldn’t be a valid means of getting a good education for your child.

The 1964 Supreme Court case Griffin v. County School Board of Prince Edward County is sometimes cited as an example of these so-called “racist roots.” In Prince Edward County, Virginia, school vouchers were given only to white students and used to close public schools completely and open white-only private schools. The Supreme Court overruled the county’s practices and reopened the public schools. This was indeed an example of racism, but not at all about school choice.

With school choice, parents of every race and creed are allowed to use government education funds to put their child in a school of their choosing. School choice encompasses a wide variety of options: public, charter, private, vocational, and homeschool. For parents, some of these options are more doable than others, but again, it should be about freedom of choice.

Lack of a good education is shown to be a big factor in holding children in a cycle of poverty. It also breeds a contempt for education itself. How can poorly educated students love something that is given to them so begrudgingly? Or when they are just a number in a classroom? Or when instruction is delivered to them shoddily by incapable, burnt-out teachers?

School choice would also break the stranglehold that the teachers unions have on our education system. It is a mafia-like game where the unions support the politicians who can give them the most power and protect bad teachers.

If school choice is such a racist idea, then why do minorities overwhelmingly support it? One poll states that 81% of Democrat primary voters, and 89% of black voters, would support a proposal for more school options. Another poll reported that “85% of voters are in favor of education savings accounts (ESA), which let families access money typically funneled to school districts to spend on education-related expenses for their children. 78% of African Americans and 79% of Hispanic respondents were in favor of ESA programs as well.”

This second poll was particularly interesting because the pollsters made the claim that the desires of parents didn’t align with the realities of their living situations, which is a rather insulting statement. By and large, when it comes to a good education that parents value, they tend to do all they can to give their kids the best that is available to them.

At the end of the day, what is more racist: keeping children trapped in failing schools, where they are forced to suffer the bigotry of low expectations, or giving parents and students the choice to freely pick the education they want? The answer is clear — give students and parents a choice.

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