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Thomas Gallatin / January 31, 2022

‘Pro-Choice’ Dems Hate School Choice

Yet the recipe for saving America’s future may just be found in allowing parents to choose.

The purpose of a school is to provide an education for students, and the job of a teacher is to facilitate and guide students in their learning of a variety of subject matter. Good teachers don’t teach students what to think, they teach them how to think.

In the case of a failing teacher, the most logical decision would be to replace the teacher with a better one. But all too often, thanks to teachers unions, failing and subpar teachers are protected from dismissal and, consequently, students’ education suffers. The problem of poor teaching can quickly compound throughout other classrooms, and the result is a failing school.

So what are parents to do when their children are stuck in a failing school simply because of their zip code? Parents who have the means can pay to send their children to a private school. But the larger majority of parents who can’t afford to do so are left with little choice, which seems to be exactly how Democrat politicians want it.

School choice has increasingly become a leading political issue, and one that had much to do with Virginia Republican Glenn Youngkin’s gubernatorial election victory. Last week, governors across the nation recognized and celebrated National School Choice Week by donning yellow scarves. They are responding to a growing movement of parents who are fed up with their children’s schools and who desire to see changes made. Changes come when greater choices are available.

A recent poll found that 52% of parents are considering sending their children to a different school. The reasons vary — everything from masking mandates and inconvenient school closures from COVID to the teaching of Critical Race Theory and the hard push for radical sexual and “gender identity” ideology. Increasingly, parents are finding themselves cut out of the schools’ education decisions and they don’t like the results.

Of course, Democrat politicians are all about protecting their biggest supporters, the teachers unions. Thus, they claim that supporting school choice programs such as charter schools or allowing a grant program that would allow parents to send their children to a private school would end up destroying public education. Such claims are demonstrably false, which reveals that the interest of the schools and teachers are being put ahead of any consideration of providing the best opportunity for children to receive a good education.

In many cases, public schools are failing students, and the solution is not to prevent greater school choice opportunities and simply throw more money at already failing public schools. That’s a reward for poor performance. Instead, competition results in a wider variety of opportunities while at the same time producing a better product. If public schools are forced to compete with charter and private schools for students, they will not only create a better product but also be more in tune with parents. Bad teachers will either get better or get out.

Studies have repeatedly shown that charter schools outperform public schools and are hugely popular with minority communities, as those parents see their children learning and performing, not simply languishing and failing.

School choice will help to remove the rot that has been allowed to set in and fester in too many public schools — especially inner-city ones — for far too long. In many ways, school choice is a recipe for saving America’s future.

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