What would you say about a presidential nominee who proposes a plan “to provide school choice to every disadvantaged student in America”? Amen, to that, writes the WSJ. Donald Trump recently told the audience at the Cleveland Arts and Social Sciences Academy, “There is no failed policy more in need of urgent change than our government-run education monopoly,” But judging the way the left is panicking, notes the WSJ, “you’d think he’d (DT) proposed eliminating public education.”
Donald Trump is proposing a winning issue—to redirect federal education money in the form of a $20 million block grant for states. The grant would be used to support charter schools and boost school vouchers. In other words, redirect federal education money. He wants parents—not government—to choose where the money goes. Mr. Trump also is endorsing merit pay for teachers and is championing school choice.
Hillary Clinton, showing how far left she has moved on education, responded to Trump’s plan with the warning that it would “decimate public schools across America.” But the fact is, charter schools are public schools. What sets them apart is that they are not under the yoke of union control.
According to the WSJ, $20 billion is “merely 3% of what states spend on K-12 education each year and less than the increase in school spending in California since 2012.”
Unions and their friends are trying to deflect attention from Mr. Trump’s speech and minority outreach by saying the charter school where he announced his plan received a failing grade on Ohio’s school-progress report card last year. But the charter flunked due to a switch in state tests last year that caused student scores to slump nearly everywhere in the state.
It’s ironic that progressives are howling about the charter’s performance on standardized tests, which they usually insist are a poor indicator of school and teacher quality. Why is it that the only schools that unions believe should be held accountable for student performance are those run by their competition? That’s a question Mr. Trump should ask from here to November.
As I posted last March, Hillary Clinton supported charter schools in her 1996 memoir. “I favor promoting choice among public schools,” she wrote, and praised charter schools for being “freed from regulations that stifle innovation, so they can focus on getting results.”
Why did Clinton turn her back on charter schools? Is it be too cynical to suggest, with the endorsement by the National Education Association and the American
Federation of Teachers to Hillary’s presidential run, that it s in her political best interest to flip-flop? As the NY Post noted, “So now Clinton’s script on charters might as well be written by AFT President Randi Weingarten (an informal campaign adviser).”