Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Story the Media Fails to Report: School Choice is a Republican Issue—and a Democratic One, Too

We’ve all heard the misconceptions in media reports about school choice, which we've chronicled in recent weeks.  But the media has it wrong, as Ron Matus points out in yesterday’s The Herald Tribune.

School choice is an issue that is growing more bipartisan everyday—something that fails to penetrate in many of the popular conversations about the issue.  Matus writes that all-too-often, the media writes of school choice support from fringe groups and only the support of lawmakers from a single political party.

The media does not report, however, that the Florida Scholarship Tax Credit has the support of nearly half of Democrats.  Also often not reported, Senator Lieberman stands with Speaker Boehner to protect the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (which also has the support of Senator Dianne Feinstein, Representative Daniel Lipinksi, and former Mayors Anthony Williams and Adrian Fenty).  Or, Newark Mayor Cory Booker and a host of Democratic Legislators support New Jersey implementing a scholarship tax credit.  Or that in Louisiana, Governor Jindal signed legislation expanding the Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence Program into law after 45 Democrats in the House and nearly half in the Senate voted for the legislation.

Matus notes that support of school choice is broad.  Many come to support school choice for different reasons from social justice to the free market.  Diversity is good.  And in the end, everyone in support of school choice is really in support of educating children.

Perhaps most convincingly, Matus points out:

Too often, our support or opposition to a complicated policy issue is not based on its merits, but on which "side" we think is pushing it. Dispelling the myth that school choice is a conservative plot will allow more people to channel their energy into an effort that really needs all hands on deck. That's figuring out how we can best expand learning options in a fair, responsible way -- so more kids get the opportunity to live out their dreams.

The reality is that Democrats and Republicans support school choice.  It’s time for opponents to put aside the party line and truly come together for children.  School choice works, so it’s an obvious place to start.

- American Federation for Children | Alliance for School Choice, MSG

No comments:

Post a Comment