Tuesday, May 5, 2009

VIDEO: Reason TV on D.C. Voucher Cut

This video is a must watch. Nothing makes me angrier than the way Democrats and liberals pay lip service to education being "for the kids", when in reality they keep throwing more and more money at an inefficient and failing school system just to pacify their teacher union base. Note that in the case of the D.C. vouchers, the $7,500 voucher is much CHEAPER than the $14,000 per student that the failing D.C. public school system spends. Parents LOVE the program because they can send their kids to a better school. The kids test scores go up. It sounds like a win-win-win.

But the teacher's unions want to keep the government monopoly over public schools. The unions don't want to lose their power by losing union members (teachers) to private schools. The teachers like all the benefits and job security provided by the union and don't want to have to compete for their jobs by doing a good job like all of us out here in the non-unionized private sector have to do. The teacher's unions and Democrats are either completely ignorant of the facts or don't give a damn about the students. While a lot of teachers are probably just acting out of selfish ignorance, I think the union leaders and liberal politicians fall into the latter category. They know their policies are not the best for the kids, but are best for themselves and their own hold on power.

When the average public school in the country spends over $10,000 per student and the average private school tuition is less than $4000, why wouldn't a $5000 voucher per student for every student across the country make sense? Keep the public financing but give the choice to parents. We could cut our education spending in half while improving test scores and providing all parents with the choice of which school is best for their kid. The good public schools would still do fine if they are good enough for parents to choose to send their kids there. It's a win all around, except for the government monopoly and teacher's unions.

Sorry for going off. I promised a video:

I have to follow up by venting a bit of frustration with some of the parents in the video. While I can understand their enthusiasm for Obama for other reasons, I cannot understand why the parents could not see the voucher cuts coming. I cannot understand why over 90% of parents in highly African-American sections of cities across the country keep voting for liberal Democrats. At least for those who want school choice, why, why, why can't they see that it is the Republicans that stand with them for a better education system for their kids? The parent in the video wants to ask Obama why. I want to ask her why she voted for Obama. Does she really not know what Obama's policies are? What will it take for people's eyes to be opened?

While I'm at it, why haven't the Republicans gone full bore in trying to highlight the cut of the voucher program and attempted to partner with these voucher supporters like those in the video to put the political pressure necessary to keep the program. In addition to fighting for conservative principles in education and being the right thing to do for the kids and for the country, it would also be a great opportunity to make inroads into the black community. Who cares if these aren't people who will likely vote Republican in the next election? If you ever want to win these people over, you've got to start somewhere, and there couldn't be a better place to start than with helping these parents provide a significantly better life for their kids!

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