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Hillsdale Takes on Biden’s DOE


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The American Conservative

The Biden administration's new rule would give public schools a veto over charter-school applications, but Hillsdale is not giving up.

May 14, 2022

Carmel Richardson

You know you’re hitting the target when your opponent starts fighting back. In this case, the target is good education, namely charter schools, and the opponent is Biden’s Department of Education.

In the same week the New York Times was digging for any kind of dirt it could toss at Hillsdale College’s charter-school initiative, a new DOE rule went into effect. The rule, proposed in the unplumbed depths of the federal register a month prior on March 14, added some 14 pages of federal regulations on the traditionally local process of charter-school application, approval, and administration. Among other things, the rules would give school boards and “community leaders” a unilateral veto over new charter-school applications that don’t directly collaborate with the public schools.

Charter schools, which use a combination of public and private funding to provide parents and their children an alternative to public schooling without the additional costs of private or home education, have long been a thorn in the side of public schools and “educators.” This is in part due to the fact that children who attend charter schools have historically performed far better than their public school counterparts, prompting parents and voters to ask the obvious questions.

That difference in success is even more exaggerated at classical charter schools, particularly the 21 member schools of Hillsdale’s charter initiative, whose students begin by studying phonics in kindergarten and end having taken several years of Latin, classical literature, American history, moral philosophy, and Western civilization, among other subjects. So well-educated are the students, and so impressed are the parents, that Hillsdale claims to have over 8,000 students nationally on waiting lists to attend these schools, where admittance is typically determined through a lottery system. As it turns out, many parents would prefer their students to learn that America is a good county rather than that it is a racist one, or to read The Iliad rather than pornographic sex-ed “literature.” Naturally, the Times and the DOE are quaking in their heels.

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