At an American Federation of Teachers gathering this week Hillary Clinton attacked Indiana Governor and GOP veep aspirant Mike Pence as “one of the most hostile politicians in America when it comes to public education.”
But of course that is now what she meant: she meant that Pence is a supporter of charter schools, which many parents and students see as a lifeline in an era of often-abysmal public schools. What Clinton was saying is that Pence has a history of putting students above teachers' unions. The GOP ought not to let Mrs. Clinton off the hook on this.
The Wall Street Journal explains:
Donald Trump has been vague on education, and his running mate’s efforts to expand school choice in Indiana have been largely overshadowed by the state’s culture wars. So it is nice to see Mrs. Clinton calling attention to Mr. Pence’s strong record of school reform. The Trump campaign ought to be doing the same.
. . .
Since 2012, the number of [voucher] recipients has increased 10-fold to 33,000 students, while state funding has swelled to $132 million from $15 million. Nearly 60% of students in the state now qualify for vouchers. Indiana’s voucher program is the fastest-growing and largest in the country.
Mr. Pence has also knocked heads with the state’s liberal Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz, who has persistently tried to sabotage charters and vouchers. Last year the Education Department complained that she had incorrectly applied federal law regulating Title I funds for low-income students when she cut funding for charters. After a series of court battles, Mr. Pence pressed the legislature to limit her control over vouchers and charter schools.
These school-reform brawls are a good illustration of Mr. Pence’s record as a fighter. They also show conservative policies can help low- and middle-income families. This is a fight Mr. Trump ought to be picking with Mrs. Clinton.
Read the entire editorial.