School Choice

In the disaster that is Chicago, its teachers union plays a starring role

by George Will,
from The Washington Post,

Stacy Davis Gates, president of what is, in effect, Chicago’s government — the Chicago Teachers Union — has at last done something helpful. Having denounced school choice as fascist (Mussolini favored it? Who knew?) and, of course, racist (what isn’t?), she has enrolled her son in a private school. This is so that (she recently explained to her union members) “he could live out his dream of being a soccer player while also having a curriculum that can meet his social and emotional needs.”

Davis Gates has erased the patina of idealism that cloaks the CTU’s sacrifice of students on the altar of its avarice. By diminishing her union, her hypocrisy might benefit its victims, who include K-12 students imprisoned in dysfunctional public schools. Other victims are the rest of the city’s shrinking population, buffeted by progressive policies implemented by politicians who are the CTU’s poodles. The union’s current crusade is to kill the Invest in Kids Act, Illinois’ school choice program, which serves 9,600 children from low-income families and had a waiting list of 26,000 children as of July. Unless renewed by the state legislature, it will expire Dec. 31. Davis Gates earns 483 percent more than the average family that received a scholarship through Empower Illinois, the state’s largest scholarship-granting organization.

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