By Larry Sand
A new study shows that public schools are highly segregated, while polls reveal that educational freedom is more popular than ever.
According to a study released in mid-May by The Century Foundation, a progressive think tank, “one in six students attend a school where over 90% of their peers were of the same race in the 2018-19 school year.” The publication of the report was timed to mark the 68th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision which ruled that state laws establishing racial segregation in public schools were unconstitutional.
While this may be news to some, the results are hardly surprising. For varied reasons, people tend to live in areas populated by those similar in race and class. And to complete the picture, we have a ridiculous zip-code mandated education system, which, courtesy of the Big Government-Big Teacher Union duopoly, forces children to go to the public school that is closest to their home – no matter how awful it might be – throughout most of the country.
Then, on the educational freedom front, a RealClear Opinion Research poll in February revealed that 72% of the respondents support school choice, with just 18% opposed. The results don’t vary much by race, with 77% of Hispanics, 72% of Whites, 70% of Blacks, and 66% of Asians expressing support.
In March, the American Federation of Children released the findings of a survey which shows that 77% of those surveyed support education-savings accounts (ESAs), which allow parents to withdraw their children from public schools and receive a deposit of public funds into government-authorized savings accounts with restricted but multiple uses. Interestingly, the poll finds that 75% of Democrats support ESAs, as do 85% of Hispanic voters and 84% of Black voters.
And unsurprisingly, when any privatization measure shows promise, the teacher unionistas and their fellow travelers step up their deceitful propaganda campaign. Traditionally, their argument has revolved around money. The unions claim that “privatization siphons funds from public schools.” This is a terrible argument for so many reasons, but mostly because we should be funding students, not systems. The union’s other main talking point – used increasingly these days – is that school choice is racist.
The ever-quotable Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, insists, “Make no mistake: This use of privatization, coupled with disinvestment are only slightly more polite cousins of segregation.” (A question for Weingarten and other choice-haters: While you despise any public money going to a parent who wants to send their child to a private school, you praise Pell Grants. These federal dollars go to needy college students, and can be used to attend private colleges, including religious schools like Notre Dame and Brigham Young. But on the k-12 level, giving parents choices – vouchers, ESA’s, etc., especially if used at a religious school – is your worst nightmare. Why is the private option perfectly okay for college students, but not elementary and high schoolers?)
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