Saturday, December 19, 2009

Unions vs. Poor Minorities. Guess Who Wins.

From an editorial in today's WSJ.

Democrats in Congress voted to kill the District's Opportunity Scholarship Program, which provides 1,700 disadvantaged kids with vouchers worth up to $7,500 per year to attend a private school.

The reason? It's not because the pilot program has been unsuccessful. Quite the contrary. The editorial explains,

The program's popularity has generated long waiting lists. A federal evaluation earlier this year said the mostly black and Hispanic participants are making significant academic gains and narrowing the achievement gap. But for the teachers unions, this just can't happen. The National Education Association instructed Democratic lawmakers to kill it.

"Opposition to vouchers is a top priority for NEA," declared the union in a letter sent to every Democrat in the House and Senate in March. "We expect that Members of Congress who support public education, and whom we have supported, will stand firm against any proposal to extend the pilot program. Actions associated with these issues WILL be included in the NEA Legislative Report Card for the 111th Congress."

Poor minorities are victimized by liberals twice over. First by the enactment of vast entitlement programs creating a culture of dependency - just one indication of which is that the percentage of black children living with only one parent has risen from about 30% in 1960 (before LBJ's "Great Society" was put in place) to over 60% today. And second, by catering to that great benefactor of the Democratic Party - the teachers' unions - and denying needy families stuck in atrocious public school systems (like D.C.'s) the opportunity to choose an alternative.

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