May 18, 2019
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Sanders’ Out-of-Touch Attack On Charter Schools Ignores The Benefits To And Needs Of Minority Communities
Charter schools create learning environments where minority students thrive
Washington, DC — Independent Women’s Forum senior policy analyst Inez Stepman released the following statement in response to Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ out-of-touch attack on charter schools:
“Bernie Sanders perversely points to the fact that charter schools disproportionately serve minority and low-income communities as evidence that they are more segregated. But the reason there are more poor and minority students in charter schools is because those are the students who are worst-served by the current education system. Charter schools address the desperate need for good alternatives to failing traditional public schools–as evidenced by thousands of students on waitlists in many areas. This is not ‘segregation,’ but rather an indictment of today’s failing status quo in public education.
“Multiple polls have shown that Black and Hispanic Democrats support charter schools at much higher rates than do white Democrats. Black and Hispanic voters generally support school choice, including private school choice options, at majorities well above 60 and even 70 percent. That's probably because minority voters are less likely to be able to afford to move to a neighborhood where they like the school better and feel their children are safe.
“Sanders trots out the tired canard that US schools are underfunded, and that excuses their poor performance. In reality, the US is among the highest-funded per pupil systems in the developed world. Districts don't lack for money; they make bad decisions with their money, like hiring 700 percent more bureaucrats than they did a generation ago, instead of raising teacher salaries. They can continue to make those bad decisions because politicians like Sanders continue to attack choice and charter programs that actually let families hold schools accountable for whether or not they provide a good education for taxpayers' money.
“Bernie Sanders’ attack on charter schools shows he is out of touch with the needs of American families, who want to be empowered to hold the educational providers serving their children accountable for the success of their students.”
Independent Women's Forum is dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities.