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On education, the tide is turning in favor of parents


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Washington Examiner

Democrats are fighting on behalf of their teacher union paymasters to prevent parents from choosing the right education for their children. The party of the Left, of course, seeks to limit freedom across a wide policy spectrum, but the salience of education as a political issue is being sharply underscored with midterm congressional elections drawing near. Fortunately, it is a debate the Left is losing.

An overwhelming majority of parents , 82%, say they’ll consider switching allegiance on Election Day to vote for candidates of a party that shares their views on education. This includes 79% of Republicans, 81% of Democrats, and 88% of independents. Whatever lessons they think should be taught, parents agree that the decision is theirs to make. They don’t want to be dictated to or have their children taken as ideological hostages.

This shows once again that people who are willing to brush aside many issues as “just politics” that they can safely ignore do not take the same laissez-fair attitude on the question of their children’s learning. Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R-VA) demonstrated the political potency of this distinction when he knocked off Terry McAuliffe to win last year’s election in Virginia.

But President Joe Biden refuses to learn the lesson. Just three months ago, long after the implications of the Virginia parental rebellion should have sunk in, his administration issued a new rule that could force some public charter schools to close by denying them federal funds if they contract operations to for-profit educators.

The practice is widespread, and Robert Eitel, president of the Defense of Freedom Institute, said at the time, “This is confirmation that the Democratic Party has shifted hard to the Left on education … it would have a chilling effect on new charter schools and make it difficult for existing ones to continue.”

The comment is broadly true, but it’s emerging that public opposition to the rule is both broad and bipartisan, and some Democratic politicians know the issue could blow up in their faces. This is surely not least because Biden told 2020 voters that he was a moderate alternative to an impending socialist takeover of the party. Instead, he has sided against parents’ right to choose what their children learn and from whom.

But a Supreme Court decision this week shows the tide is flowing strongly for parents. The justices ruled 6-3 that Maine may not ban parents from spending education vouchers at schools merely because these schools are run by religious organizations. The decision, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, reiterated First Amendment protections for religious liberty, saying that once a state decides to subsidize private education, “it cannot disqualify some private schools solely because they are religious.” Left-wing politicians and administrators will not be able to target Christian schools for starvation in the future.:snip:

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