(Chuck Muth) – With Nevada Democrat gubernatorial candidate Rory He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Last-Named pretty much running on Republican Gov. Jim Gibbons’ no-new-taxes platform, there sometimes doesn’t appear to be much difference between him and his GOP opponent, Brian Sandoval. I mean, other than the difference in their poll numbers.
But on one key issue, Rory and Sandoval are mirror opposites: school vouchers.
Sandoval would provide parents, including low-income and middle-class Nevada families, with both the right AND the means to choose the school they think is best for their children’s education, whether that school is a “public option” school or a private school or even a religious school.
Rory, on the other hand, insists on trapping as many generations of children in mediocre or failing public option schools as possible, jeopardizing their futures and preventing many from pulling themselves out of poverty. But considering the choke-hold the teachers union has on both our public option schools and the Democrat Party, I guess this isn’t too surprising.
What is surprising, however, is that another major Democrat candidate for governor, Dan Onorato in Pennsylvania, has flipped the teachers union there the bird and has taken a pro-voucher/pro-parent position on school reform.
To be honest, Mr. Onorato doesn’t call his vouchers “vouchers.” He calls them grants. But a rose by any other name and all that.
The point is that Mr. Onorato declares that voucher/grants “would give low-income families in academically distressed communities direct choices about which schools their children should attend.” Which Rory opposes. Because Rory is more worried about protecting the teachers union and defending the public option government-school monopoly than helping children obtain an excellent education.
Which is the same heartless, misguided position as President Obama, whose legislative water Rory’s far more infamous dad famously carries.
As the Wall Street Journal noted in an editorial, “The Obama Administration, which is phasing out a popular and successful school voucher program in Washington, D.C., at the insistence of teachers unions, refuses to acknowledge that vouchers can play a role in reforming K-12 education.”
Vouchers are right and Rory/Obama are wrong for all kinds of reasons:
First and most importantly, where a child goes to school is a decision best made by the child’s parents or guardians, not by the government or by an accident of geography.
Secondly….well, actually, there are a ton of other reasons, but none that come even remotely close to empowering parents with both the ability AND the means to make the same kind of decisions about their children’s teachers as they make about their children’s doctors.
And vouchers – or “grants,” if you must – are based on the exact same model our society uses when it comes to food assistance for the poor. We provide people with food vouchers – or food “stamps,” if you will – to purchase food from privately-run grocery stores. We don’t make people buy their food from a designated government-run grocery store in their neighborhood.
Which reminds me of one of my favorite Thomas Jefferson quotes: “Were we directed from Washington when to sow, and when to reap, we should soon want bread.”
This issue isn’t about whether or not kids going to a private school get a better education than those going to public option schools. It’s about giving parents the right and the financial means to exercise their right to choose the school they believe is right for their kid.
The decision by Mr. Onorato in Pennsylvania to embrace vouchers….er, grants, continues a trend we’re seeing more and more every day in every corner of the nation: Democrats admitting that what conservatives have been saying on issue after issue for years has been right all along.
We’ve been right on spending. We’ve been right on taxes. We’ve been right on illegal immigration. We’ve been right on health care. And now, some Democrats – but not Rory – are finally admitting that we’re right on vouchers, too.
No wonder the Right is called the Right and the Left is called the Wrong.