Widget Image
Follow PPD Social Media
Tuesday, June 18, 2024
HomeNewsSenators Scott And Alexander Say School Choice Will Address Income Inequality

Senators Scott And Alexander Say School Choice Will Address Income Inequality

school choice
school choice

Sens. Tim Scott (R-SC) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) proposed dual school choice plans during school choice week to truly address income inequality.

President Obama delivered on expectations to address “income inequality” in the State of the Union address, but two GOP senators are doing more than talking.

During national School Choice Week, Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Tim Scott (R-SC), are offering duel plans to give parents more choice when it comes to how their federal tax dollars are spend on K-12 education for their children.

Senator Alexander proposed his Scholarships for Kids Act, which would appropriate billions in federal education dollars to states that would empower parents to use the money.

“If you had to ask Americans one single thing that was likely to make the most opportunity in helping you move from the back of the line to the front, it would be a good education,” Sen. Alexander said.

Under the proposal outlined by Alexander, parents could use education money to either remove their children from failing public schools to successful charter or private schools, or even move them to high-performing public schools.

Senator Tim Scott proposed the CHOICE Act, which would grant more flexibility to military families, those with children facing physical challenges and all other students stuck in failing schools and impoverished neighborhoods. Sen Scott has a story to tell that uniquely qualifies him to articulate the realities of education.

Scott was raised in a single-parent home, nearly flunking out of high school until being blessed with a mentor who helped him his change his attitude and turned him in another direction.

“Too many of our kids are sold a bill of goods that there is no chance to escape poverty when, in fact, school choice provides a bridge for that student who has potential to realize it,” Sen. Scott said.

The fundamental difference between Democrats and Republicans, such as Scott and Alexander, is that Republicans believe the money for education to follow the children and empower the parents. Democrats, on the other hand, believe that the taxpayer, including parents in failed school systems, should continue to fund teachers’  unions who have been failing to educate our children with the knowledge and tools necessary for them to get ahead in life.

They believe we simply do not spend enough money, despite spending the largest amount of money per student out of any other developed country.

For instance, Thomas Gentzel, the Executive Director of the National School Boards Association, claims there is no proof to the claim that tax dollars moving with students leads to a better education.

“We certainly haven’t seen any consistent evidence anywhere in the country that these kinds of programs are effective or producing better results,” Gentzel said following the lawmakers’ announcement.

Gentzel also worries about the negative impact of taking funding away from already-struggling public schools.

“That kind of compounds the problem for those schools, makes the hill even steeper for them to climb in terms of providing great education for their students,” he said.

What Gentzel is referring to is sometimes referred to by the left as “creaming” students or “dredging.”

But as you will read below, neither of those claims are true. As a study conducted by the Friedman Foundation — viewable below — found none of the left’s arguments opposing school choice to be valid.

As far as deteriorating public schools further, because of the need to compete with private and charter schools, out of the 19 studies conducted on school choice since 2011, 18 found a positive impact on public schools, while just 1 found no observable effect.

Unions, such the National Education Association (NEA), furiously and vehemently oppose the idea of empowering parents with school choice by allowing taxpayer money to follow students.

The NEA has attacked the concept of school choice or, — vouchers, as they like to deem it — an “elitist strategy,” claiming that it often winds up “circumventing the constitutional prohibitions against subsidizing religious practice and instruction,” and allows public money to flow into religious schools.

Alexander and Scott have rebutted with what most in DC know to be true: Unions are more concerned with maintaining their stranglehold on education, rather than making student performance their prime concern. Alexander noted the left’s hypocrisy when those on the left favor the GI bill for veterans, Pell Grants and student loans. They are all commonly acknowledged to be “vouchers.”

“But they’re against trying the same idea for the poorest children to give them the chance to go to the best elementary school or high school,” he said.

Alexander and Scott said they were “hopeful” some Senate Democrats will decide to join their school choice reform efforts. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives has already passed an education measure that includes several similar components.

Eric Holder, on the other hand, is suing the state of Louisiana for their school choice program, which is widely accepted as a very successful program, particularly among the minority parents who benefited the most from school choice.

Written by

Rich, the People's Pundit, is the Data Journalism Editor at PPD and Director of the PPD Election Projection Model. He is also the Director of Big Data Poll, and author of "Our Virtuous Republic: The Forgotten Clause in the American Social Contract."

No comments

leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

People's Pundit Daily
You have %%pigeonMeterAvailable%% free %%pigeonCopyPage%% remaining this month. Get unlimited access and support reader-funded, independent data journalism.

Start a 14-day free trial now. Pay later!

Start Trial