Thursday, November 13, 2008

Goldwater Institute: Obama’s school choice hypocrisy

by Dan Lips

President-elect Barack Obama belongs to a growing club of elected officials who oppose school vouchers for poor families while sending their own children to private school.

In the final presidential debate, the Illinois senator criticized Sen. John McCain's plan to award tuition scholarships to low-income families living in Washington, D.C. He said the same to the American Federation of Teachers this summer: "What I do oppose is spending public money for private school vouchers. We need to focus on fixing and improving our public schools, not throwing our hands up and walking away from them."

But Obama did walk away from public schools when the time came to enroll his own daughters. He enrolled them in the private University of Chicago lab school, where elementary school tuition costs more than $18,000 per year.

Elected officials often try to demonstrate their support for improving public education by pledging to spend more tax dollars on more programs aimed at fixing schools. But these promises should be of little comfort to poor families who have no choice but to enroll their children in bad public schools today. Furthermore, years of rising school budgets have yielded little improvement in the nation's worst school districts.

President-elect Obama and many of his colleagues understand how important school choice is, at least when it comes to their own children. Do disadvantaged children deserve less?

Dan Lip is a senior policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation and a Goldwater Institute Senior Fellow.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Obama won't admit it, but here's the most serious problem public schools are having to address:

Guess Who's Coming to School

The bleak future of our public school system shown in pictures and videos.