C.E. Dyer reports that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has apparently had a change of heart on school-choice/vouchers since 2003 in a book she co-authored with her daughter, where it appears that 2003 Fauxcahontas would be very much in agreement with our new Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
The Wall Street Journal dug into a book Warren co-authored with Amelia Warren Tyagi titled: “The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are (Still) Going Broke,” and found that Warren’s positions on school-choice have changed quite a bit since becoming a senator.
The authors discussed the situation of parents needing to buy homes in higher priced neighborhoods to get out of bad districts and then continued:
A well-designed voucher program would fit the bill neatly. A taxpayer-funded voucher that paid the entire cost of educating a child (not just a partial subsidy) would open a range of opportunities to all children. . . . Fully funded vouchers would relieve parents from the terrible choice of leaving their kids in lousy schools or bankrupting themselves to escape those schools.
Next, the authors acknowledge the push-back to vouchers: “We recognize that the term ‘voucher’ has become a dirty word in many educational circles. The reason is straightforward: The current debate over vouchers is framed as a public-versus-private rift, with vouchers denounced for draining off much-needed funds from public schools.”
Fast forward around 14 years and it’s still being framed as a “public-versus private rift” and now Warren has decided to become a part of deepening that rift on the Left.
Fortunately, 2003 Warren noted that 2017 Warren was “missing the point.”
“But the public-versus-private competition misses the central point. The problem is not vouchers; the problem is parental choice,” the authors wrote.
Under current voucher schemes, children who do not use the vouchers are still assigned to public schools based on their zip codes. This means that in the overwhelming majority of cases, a bureaucrat picks the child’s school, not a parent. The only way for parents to exercise any choice is to buy a different home—which is exactly how the bidding wars started.
Next, the authors discuss a plan that the Left would cringe at:
Short of buying a new home, parents currently have only one way to escape a failing public school: Send the kids to private school. But there is another alternative, one that would keep much-needed tax dollars inside the public school system while still reaping the advantages offered by a voucher program. Local governments could enact meaningful reform by enabling parents to choose from among all the public schools in a locale, with no presumptive assignment based on neighborhood. Under a public school voucher program, parents, not bureaucrats, would have the power to pick schools for their children—and to choose which schools would get their children’s vouchers.
What changed Warren? Becoming a Massachusetts senator? Everything changes when the teachers union checks clear…