Democrats, Teacher Unions Looking To Kill Successful School Choice Program In Milwaukee
It’s cheap for the taxpayers. It gets results with the students. But it funds the students and not the teachers, so obviously it must go.
Milwaukee is home to America’s most vibrant school-choice program: More than 20,000 students participate, almost all of them minorities. They have made academic gains and boast higher graduation rates than their peers in public schools. They even save money for taxpayers. …
Taxpayers currently hand over $13,468 per student to Milwaukee Public Schools, compared to just $6,607 per student in the school-choice program. In 2008 alone, school choice saved the public almost $32 million, according to Robert M. Costrel of the University of Arkansas. Since 1994, the figure is $180 million. The savings would be even larger if more students used vouchers.
Taxpayer savings? Thriving students? Well, the Democrats just can’t have that:
Inevitably, Democrats in the state capital are trying to eviscerate the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program. …
Last week, the legislature’s Joint Finance Committee approved a series of auditing, accrediting, and instructional requirements that will force successful voucher schools to shift resources away from classrooms and into administration. Several schools will have to comply with new bilingual-education mandates, even though many immigrant parents choose those schools precisely because they emphasize the rapid acquisition of English instead of native-language maintenance.
Lawmakers also propose to strip funding for school choice. With the value of each voucher reduced, private schools will see their payments fall. Meanwhile, public schools will watch their budgets increase by hundreds of dollars per student.
Whenever Republicans oppose spending on some new entitlement program, liberals usually respond with some variation of the “it’s for the children” argument, and tacitly accuse Republicans of being big meanies who hate little kids. In this situation, though, Democrats are favoring the best interests of teachers unions over the best interests of children. Often poor children living in rough neighborhoods who, without a good choice for a school, might not ever make much of themselves.
So I ask, why do these Democrats hate the children? Maybe because the kids don’t have a lobbying group as powerful as the NEA.