fbpx

Latest Posts

Home

Facebook

Twitter

Search
About

When the teachers’ union supports school choice

The National Education Association (NEA) has voiced support for the Family Stability and Opportunity Vouchers Act, introduced in December by Senators Todd Young (R-IN) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).

“NEA applauds Senators Young and Van Hollen for introducing the Family Stability and Opportunity Vouchers Act of 2019, which will offer crucial assistance to struggling families with school-age children,” said Lily Eskelsen García, President of the National Education Association. “This bill will help keep students on track, ensure that they can attend school regularly, and provide the opportunity for an education that sparks students’ curiosity and motivates them to learn. We must do everything we can to end homelessness and make sure all students have the learning resources and tools they deserve. This is a step in the right direction.”

But what the NEA may not realize is that its support of the bill is actually an endorsement of a form of public school choice, according to American Enterprise Institute’s John Bailey.

…[The Family Stability and Opportunity Vouchers Act] proposes to give 500,000 “Housing Choice Vouchers” to low-income families with young children to move to neighborhoods that have high-performing schools and better job prospects. Drawing on lessons from several new research studies, the bill would also fund a number of support services to assist families with making these moves, including landlord outreach, counseling, and home visitation services.

NEA’s statement focuses on the housing security provided through this reform but misses the irony that they’re actually endorsing a form of public school choice — a policy they have traditionally opposed. Put another way, NEA supports vouchers that allow families to move to a better school district, just not vouchers that allow families to send their child to another public school, a public charter school, or a magnet school.

For lower income families and families of color, housing vouchers could create not only economic opportunities but expanded educational freedom as well, Bailey continues.

States with private school choice programs could further empower those families with private school options after a family has moved.

Policies enabling families to move to areas with better opportunities are essential to breaking cycles of poverty and help children climb up the economic ladder to stable, middle-class jobs. Vouchers, like those offered through the Family Stability and Opportunity Vouchers Act, can help achieve this while also expanding educational options for students.

Residential barriers keep students from enrolling in higher-performing schools, but so does limited accessibility to real educational choice. If vouchers for private and religious schools were available to low-income families, more families would be able to access a better school environment. As Milton Friedman stated, which the NEA’s website gets incorrect, vouchers  help low-income children: “The effect of vouchers would be very minor on the wealthy. They wouldn’t be affected one way or the other. But it would be major on the bottom half of the income distribution, for the families there, who would like to have a better alternative for their children, but don’t see how they can afford it.”

Comments

Subscribe

Categories

Upcoming Events

  • Morning in Minnesota Breakfast Series: Winona

    Location: Signatures Restaurant, 22852 County Road 17, Winona, MN 55987

    Please join Center of the American Experiment Friday, March 6 at Signatures for a FREE breakfast with economist John Phelan.

    Register Now
  • Lunch Forum with Amity Shlaes

    Location: Hyatt Regency Minneapolis 1300 Nicollet Mall Minneapolis, MN 55403

    Buy tickets for March 2nd HERE. About This Event: Enjoy our Early Bird Ticket Special through February 23rd! After this date, ticket price will increase to $30. Doors open at 11:30 AM, program and lunch begin at Noon. In Great Society, the New York Times bestselling author of The Forgotten Man and Coolidgeoffers a stunning revision of our last great period of idealism, the 1960s, with burning relevance for our contemporary challenges. Today, a battle rages in our country. Many Americans are attracted to socialism and economic redistribution while opponents of those ideas argue for purer capitalism. In the 1960s, Americans…

    Register Now
  • 2020 Annual Dinner Featuring Sarah Huckabee Sanders

    Location: Minneapolis Convention Center Ballroom 1301 2nd Ave S Minneapolis, MN 55403

    American President: The Unorthodox Approach to Politics that Changed the World. Sarah Huckabee Sanders served as White House Press Secretary for President Donald J. Trump from 2017 to 2019. A trusted confidant of the President, Sanders advised him on everything from press and communications strategy to personnel and policy. For two and a half years, Sanders was at the President’s side, battling with the media, working with lawmakers and CEOs, and staffing the President on every foreign trip, including dozens of meetings with foreign leaders. Sanders is only the third woman and the first mother to hold the job of…

    Register Now