Who cares about urban school children? Not Democrats and teachers unions.
Why are America’s prisons filled with so many young black men? Are they inherently bad? Too shiftless to succeed? Too stupid to learn? Actually, none of the above. Most black men who do time were cheated out of a decent education by the inexcusably sorry public schools they had no choice but to attend. And why do so many young black women fall into the demeaning lifestyle of government dependency? Are they inherently bad, too shiftless to succeed, too stupid to learn? In every case, no. Like their male counterparts, they too were robbed of a decent education by the grossly substandard public schools that failed to educate them.
Spending Money Like It Grows on Trees
The harm America’s biggest school systems have inflicted on urban kids who want to learn has gone on for so long that it’s tantamount to a premeditated crime against the most disadvantaged children in our society.
Consider the plight of minority students who have no choice but to attend the horrendous public schools in the nation’s capitol. For the school year 2010-2011, the District of Columbia Public School District spent nearly $600,000 per classroom of 20 students — $29,345 per pupil, to be exact — yet 8th graders in the District finished dead last in a national proficiency test in math and reading. Dead last! For that school year, DC’s public schools were the uncontested winner in the race to the bottom, with every other urban school district in America breathing a sigh of relief that they were edged out as the worst of the worst. From border to border and coast to coast, inner city children are being robbed of a chance to learn by school systems that give little more than lip service to providing disadvantaged kids with a good education.
Since the 1960s, urban school districts have received astounding sums from the U.S. Department of Education, yet their abysmal results have repeated like a broken record year after year after year. The 2009 stimulus bill signed into law by President Obama allocated $98 billion of additional funding to the DOE, nearly all of which went to the same Democrat-run school systems that have failed decades on end to adequately educate minority children. Despite that intolerable failure, their answer to the problem is always more money. But while children who want, need and deserve a decent chance to learn are getting the educational shaft, school superintendents and legions of other lavishly-paid, off-campus administrators are taking gargantuan bites out of school budgets:
● From 1999-2010, Dr. Beverly Hall was superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools, a system that habitually graduated less than half its high school students. The year before she resigned, Hall was paid a salary of $389,000, plus given a chauffeured limousine and other lavish perks. Many big-city school superintendents are paid more than their state’s governor. As head of one of the worst performing school districts in American history, the superintendent of Baltimore City Schools is paid $320,000, $50,000 more than Maryland’s governor.
● When federal grants — a.k.a. political slush funds — land in their lap, urban school districts squander much of the money on lavish junkets disguised as “education conferences.” With one of the lowest high school graduation rates in the Atlanta area, the DeKalb County School District blew through a $382,000 grant from the Obama administration’s 2009 stimulus package by treating 184 senior administrators to a relaxing four-day stay at a luxury resort hotel & spa in Hollywood, California.
School Choice Offers a Way Out for Children Who Want to Learn
The surest way to ensure that inner city children receive a quality education is through federally-funded school choice vouchers. Established in 2004 as a school choice pilot project by President George W. Bush and a Republican Congress, the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program provided thousands of minority students in the nation’s capitol with $7,500 scholarships.
The program enabled 1,700 black and Hispanic kids from low-income families to get out of DC’s sorry and unsafe public schools, and into the same kind of safe, high-performing private academies attended by the likes of Chelsea Clinton and the Obama daughters. Although the program was enthusiastically supported by eager-to-learn minority kids and their parents, President Obama and Democrats in Congress terminated it in 2010 at the behest of teachers unions, the Democratic Party’s most loyal constituency.
School choice scholarship
Fifty-nine years ago, a black baby who would never set foot in a public school was born to a mother who chose to enroll him in top-rated private academies as he grew up. So what impact did private schooling have on his life? He’s done quite well. His name? Barack Obama, who exercised school choice for his own children, but denied it to disadvantaged children in the nation’s capitol.
During his 2020 State of the Union address, President Trump used the occasion to announce that Philadelphia 4th-grader Janiyah Davis was being awarded a school choice scholarship. Janiyah and her mother were given seats of honor in the Special Guests section anchored by First Lady Melania Trump.
Janiyah had been on a scholarship waiting list. Speaking to her from the podium, President Trump said, “Janiyah, your long wait is over. I can proudly announce tonight that an Opportunity Scholarship has become available, and it’s going to you.” As stone-faced Democrats sat on their hands, the announcement was met by a roar of approval from the rest of the audience.
Unfortunately for inner city kids like Janiyah, Democrats at both the federal and state level erect endless hurdles to school choice. Pennsylvania is one of 18 states that accept applications for federal school choice scholarships, but its Democrat governor vetoed legislation that would have expanded school choice to 50,000 children in the state.
The Trump administration is pushing hard for a national, 50-state voucher program for urban kids from low income families, but is obstructed at every turn by Democrats doing the bidding of teachers unions. Democrats eagerly subsidize Planned Parenthood so unborn urban babies can have a womb funeral, yet are fiercely hostile to the idea of providing a first-rate education to black and Hispanic children whose mother chose to give them a shot at life.
The Public School Pecking Order
The following quote is attributed to Albert Shanker, former president of the American Federation of Teachers: “When school children start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing children.” Whether Shanker said that is disputed. But even if he didn’t, that’s the attitude teachers unions and Democrats have about where children stand in the public school pecking order.
The unholy alliance between Democrats and teachers unions
The unholy alliance between Democrats and teachers unions has cynically exploited urban school children for nearly six consecutive decades. The harm they’ve caused has been so thorough, so devastating that it’s hard to conclude anything other than they couldn’t care less about the disadvantaged children for whom they piously profess infinite concern.
Below are links to short videos that will break your heart.The first shows eager-to-learn minority students in the nation’s capitol literally begging President Obama to save their opportunity scholarships; the second shows a bewildered African American mother asking why oh why did the president she’d enthusiastically supported kill her daughter’s school choice scholarship.
Who cares about urban school children? Not Democrats and teachers unions.
Disadvantaged Kids Beg President Obama
Bewildered Mother Asks Why
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