Boehner 1 – Teacher’s Union 0

by Bill O'Connell on May 3, 2011

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Score one for Mr. Boehner. He has been getting lambasted by conservatives for being had on the 2011 budget deal he negotiated. But if you dig a little deeper you can find a nugget of gold.

As part of the budget deal Boehner got the Democrats and President Obama to sign off on not only keeping but expanding the school voucher program in the District of Columbia. Why is that a big deal? Well, two reasons. Between 1990 and 2010 the two largest teachers unions, the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers have donated over $50 million to Democrats while giving $2.2 million to Republicans. Republicans overwhelmingly support school choice vouchers while Democrats oppose them. The second reason is that currently about one million kids drop out of school every year and 70% of eighth graders cannot read proficiently. A recent study shows that,

that voucher recipients had graduation rates of 91%. That’s significantly higher than the D.C. public school average (56%) and the graduation rate for students who applied for a D.C. voucher but didn’t win the lottery (70%).

It shows that vouchers work. It also shows that it even helps those who are motivated to learn in their traditional schools, it’s not just cherry picking those students who are better than average regardless. The teachers’ unions for all their talk about “being for the children,” are really about the money. Dues money. The teachers’ union doesn’t care any more for the students than the steelworkers’ unions care about the steel. The difference is that the steelworkers are honest about it.

So do we have to wait for another study to prove that vouchers work or can we start graduating students that can do the kind of jobs American companies need to fill without going overseas for talent? Can we now shut down the Department of Education as the dismal failure it is after spending $1 trillion of taxpayer dollars to have one million dropouts a year? Let the free market do what free markets do best. Through competition a better solution is developed. Through government monopoly we have atrophy and failure.



That’s my opinion; I’d like to know yours. Please comment below.

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  • Woodman

    Supporting vouchers and eviscerating the teachers unions are good and noble. Looking for nuggets of hope in things the leadership is doing correctly is also worthy. My beef and one that is shared with conservatives in general is an apparent mushiness of conviction to core beliefs and principals. Tough times require bold, decisive leadership. Why does a guy like Trump resonate so much? Sure he doesn’t have the gravitas or moral rectitude to lead the country but he’s a straight talker and isn’t timid. We agree that BO’s leadership skills are inept, shallow and mousy. We don’t need a slight shift to the right with the same leadership template. So far the Speaker isn’t cutting it in my view. I hope I’m proven wrong.

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