03.20.2014 2

Why do schools exist?

Got School Choice?By Tom Toth

The political antics of the American left make one wonder if they understand why public schools exist.

In short—if the reader will pardon the elementary explanation—schools exist to educate children and turn students into workers with the opportunity to enter and participate in the American marketplace.

Of course, as with any institution, schools fail—unable to meet the basic standard of educating children.

When a school fails, what options do poor families, lacking ability to relocate, possess? The lucky ones have a form of alternative education (a charter school, magnet school, etc.) that fills the role of failed public schools for the families that want to move their children. The concept is a basic solution that gives hope to families and communities whom have a vested interest in the success of as many children as possible.

Perhaps the most uniformly agreed upon principle in the United States is that every American child deserves a quality education.

So where’s the disconnect with liberal elected officials—those who look at charter schools moving into Harlem offering the hope of escaping poverty to underprivileged children and see only a threat?

New York City’s far left mayor Bill de Blasio this month used his new mayoral authority to take aim at just these kinds of children:

He ordered that three charter schools, which had previously been approved space to operate within city school property, to no longer be allowed to open in the approved sites. He evicted one of New York State’s preeminent schools from the City space it had been operating on for years because it just so happened to be a charter school. He informed another charter than its space on City property was going to be cut by a third — all bully tactics have left hundreds of families in complete disarray as to which schools they will attend next year.

The New York Times panderingly argues that de Blasio’s merely “lost control of the narrative” in targeting poor kids attending charters—as if there’s a politically expedient way to spin forcing financially underprivileged minority children back into failing dropout factories. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal correctly called out de Blasio for acting like a “petulant tyrant” waging a “war for poverty” by attacking charter programs in his city, but the problem stretches beyond any one school district.

Every school day, more than 7,200 American students become high school drop outs. A huge majority of these come from dense areas of economically underprivileged communities—such as Washington D.C – with its dismal 59 percent graduation rate.

It seems that the far left couldn’t care less, as Barack Obama’s budget for 2015 zeros out the funding for Washington D.C.’s enormously successful public charter program.

What force drives these people to hate poor children, and deny them the simple hope of a basic, quality education?

Is it money?

Teachers unions contribute millions to Democrat candidates and the Democratic National Committee every election cycle to ensure ever-increasing dollars flow uninhibited into the pockets of dues-paying unionized teachers – good and bad – indiscriminately.

Is it power?

Politicians like Bill de Blasio make a career exploiting huge impoverished demographics, buying votes  with promises of larger welfare checks, lower welfare access restrictions, and punishment for those who dare to achieve more.

Funds to non-unionized teachers who outperform their unionized counterparts;

A beacon of hope for prosperity outside of a far-left politician’s benevolent hand;

Either of these models are fundamentally incompatible with the far left power structure and are therefore threats to power-addicted men like Bill de Blasio and Barack Obama.

The next generation loses 7,200 educated citizens each day. True leaders would be expected to actively compete to attract the services of high-quality educators to their states, districts, and cities. Sadly, too many elected officials spend their days fighting for political interests at the expense of poor children just looking for a chance

For the sake of the next generation, it is time the American voter practiced leadership and unequivocally enforced the standard that schools exist for students, and students’ achievement is a priority that comes first.

Tom Toth (@TomToth3) is the social media director for Americans for Limited Government and is a contributing editor for NetRightDaily.com.

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