Discussion: (8 comments)
Comments are closed.
A public policy blog from AEI
Following last week’s celebration of Catholic Schools Week (January 26 through February 4, 2017) the debate over “school choice” really got heated when every Democratic senator (and two Republicans) voted against confirming school choice advocate Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education in yesterday’s Senate floor vote (disclosure: DeVos formerly served as a trustee on the AEI board). Vice President Mike Pence broke the 50-50 tie, making DeVos the nation’s eleventh individual to hold the office.
During the heated battle over DeVos’ confirmation, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts wrote a public letter to DeVos that was highly critical of her support for charter schools and voucher programs.
On January 9, 2017, Warren wrote:
For decades, you have been one of the nation’s strongest advocates for radically transforming the public education system through the use of taxpayer-funded vouchers that steer public dollars away from traditional public schools to private and religious schools…But the actual evidence on how private voucher programs affect educational outcomes is mixed at best, in many cases reveals these programs to be expensive and dangerous failures that cost taxpayers billions of dollars while destroying public education systems.
But Warren would be wise to re-read the words of a committed advocate for school reform and choice from back in 2003.
That thoughtful policy leader wrote:
An all-voucher or all-school choice system would be a shock to the educational system, but the shake out might be just what the system needs…But over time, the whole concept of “the Beverly Hills schools” or “Newton schools” would die out, replaced in the hierarchy by schools that offer a variety of programs that parents want for their children, regardless of the geographic boundaries. By selecting where to send their children (and where to spend their vouchers), parents would take control over schools’ tax dollars, making them the de facto owners of those schools.
No, those aren’t the words of economist Milton Friedman, who invented the concept of school vouchers. Nor are they the words of now-Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
That was Elizabeth Warren in her book, “The Two-Income Trap”.
Comments are closed.
1789 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20036
© 2019 American Enterprise Institute