Politicians lie. Formidable politicians lie formidably, to steal a construction from Lord Acton. If you haven’t figured this out yet, following American politics must be a very depressing experience for you. The only thing worse would be politics in literally every other country.
Even by this standard, there’s something to be said for Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren’s ability to dry that stuff out and fertilize the lawn.
It wasn’t just the Massachusetts senator’s strange tales regarding her Native American heritage that earned her the moniker “Lieawatha.” (Which really should have won out over “Pocahontas” in the Warren nickname sweepstakes, but the people have spoken.)
Take her policy on school vouchers and charter schools. Please. Warren was once a vigorous champion of them. Then she realized that public-sector unions are an important part of the Democrat vote. Hence, she now believes in all but stopping the expansion of charter schools and redirecting that money to failing public schools.
Warren was speaking Thursday at Clark-Atlanta University, apparently doing a victory lap in the Georgia city after not torpedoing her campaign the same way that former Vice President Joe Biden did with that line about “punching at it and punching at it” when it came to cultural opinions on domestic violence.
However, Warren was confronted by a school choice activist who was angry about the fact that Warren now opposes school choice despite the fact that she sent at least one of her kids to a pricey private school.
“We are going to have the same choice that you had for your kids because I read that your children went to private schools,” Sarah Carpenter, the pro-school choice activist who organized the protest against Warren’s speech, told the candidate, according to video posted to social media.
But Warren wasn’t going to budge, even if Carpenter was right: Warren did send at least one of her children to an expensive private school near Austin, Texas, while she was teaching at the University of Texas.
“My children went to public schools,” the senator insisted.
This in spite of the fact that a yearbook photo of her son, Alex, appears in the 1986-87 yearbook of the Kirby Hall School, according to Corey DeAngelis, director of school choice at the Reason Foundation. Tuition at the private school currently ranges from about $15,000 to nearly $18,000.
Here’s information on the school.
Tuition is currently almost $18,000 per year. pic.twitter.com/TKAqtWiBS7
— Corey A. DeAngelis (@DeAngelisCorey) October 29, 2019
Warren’s people weren’t dumb enough to deny that Alex Warren went to a private school but insisted that her other children had all gone to public school.
“Elizabeth’s daughter went to public school. Her son went to public school until 5th grade,” Warren communications director Kristen Orthman told The Washington Free Beacon.
“Elizabeth wants every kid to get a great education regardless of where they live, which is why her plan makes a historic investment in our public schools,” Orthman said. “Every public school should be a great school. Her plan does not affect funding for existing non-profit charter schools, but she believes we should not put public dollars behind a further expansion of charters until they are subject to the same accountability requirements as public schools.”
Which is to say a) Warren lied to Carpenter and b) she wants to reduce choice for those in failing public schools who don’t have the kind of resources that Warren has — she just doesn’t want to say it.
Let’s be clear about what Warren’s plan proposes.
For-profit charter schools would be entirely eliminated, which means that roughly 15 percent of charter schools would be gone.
Warren also isn’t just saying that she won’t “affect funding for existing non-profit charter schools” — she’s saying that the funding will be paused indefinitely.
Subjecting these schools to the same cookie-cutter “accountability requirements” as public schools — which are doing so swimmingly, let me tell you — is not terribly different from saying that charter schools must be made to conform to the same mold as the failing public schools to which they’re supposed to be an alternative.
In other words, conform or funding won’t increase — no matter if your school needs more money. When will this end? We’re told it’s when they meet the same “accountability requirements as public schools.”
If you believe that, I’ve got a DNA test to sell you.
Rest assured, Lieawatha will lie to your face again, just as boldly and just as obviously as this, over the issue of school choice. It won’t be the only issue she’ll lie about. And then she’ll talk about how she’ll bring honesty back to the White House.
What are the chances of that? Oh, somewhere around one out of 1024, I’d wager.
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