Few things nauseate me more than leftists who send their kids to private schools while at the same time fighting against school choice for poor kids. There is no explanation for this hypocrisy beyond a selfish political desire to act as lapdogs for the teacher unions. It’s ironic that George Wallace and the segregationists stood in the schoolhouse door 40-plus years ago to lock black children out and now Democratic politicians are standing in the schoolhouse doore to lock them in. The Wall Street Journal opines:
Democrats in Congress voted to kill the District’s Opportunity Scholarship Program, which provides 1,700 disadvantaged kids with vouchers worth up to $7,500 per year to attend a private school. …The program’s popularity has generated long waiting lists. A federal evaluation earlier this year said the mostly black and Hispanic participants are making significant academic gains and narrowing the achievement gap. But for the teachers unions, this just can’t happen. The National Education Association instructed Democratic lawmakers to kill it. “Opposition to vouchers is a top priority for NEA,” declared the union in a letter sent to every Democrat in the House and Senate in March. …Senator Dick Durbin, who heads the subcommittee that oversees funding, has been saying for the better part of a year that he’s open to supporting the program’s continuation if certain conditions were met. In retrospect, this looks like bad faith. Earlier this year, Mr. Durbin said the local D.C. Council needed to sign off on the program before Congress could reauthorize it. The council did exactly that, sending Congress a letter expressing solid support for the scholarships. Senator Durbin then said he wants participating schools to administer the same exams to voucher students that D.C. public school students take. Done, said proponents. The program’s supporters now feel they’ve been had. “Durbin has engaged in that classic game of moving the goal posts,” says Kevin Chavous, a former D.C. council member and one of many local Democratic leaders who back school vouchers. “He’s just been less than honest. He’s made promises to colleagues and school leaders—like Michelle Rhee, our schools Chancellor—saying, ‘All I need is this.’ But the reality is that they’ve been finding reasons not to support the program.” The voucher program is closed to new students. “It’s duplicitous and shameful,” says Mr. Chavous. Strong language. But if you’re a kid in D.C. trying to escape its awful schools, maybe not strong enough.