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Cantor: School Choice Fight Needed to Counter Plans Like De Blasio’s

"Just think of how many families will have their choices taken away if Mayor De Blasio pursues these policies."

by
Rodrigo Sermeño

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January 12, 2014 - 12:32 am

WASHINGTON – House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Wednesday that school choice provides the best route out of poverty and hit out at what he sees as concerted efforts to undermine the movement toward education reform in the nation.

Cantor said his goal was for every child in America to have an opportunity to get education through school choice within the next 10 years. He supports a decentralized system where parents can use tax dollars to send their children to a school of their parents’ choosing.

“This is how we’ll begin to close the opportunity gap and produce real results for American students,” Cantor said in a speech at the Brookings Institution.

The speech coincided with the 50th anniversary of Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty. Cantor was among several high-profile Republicans, including Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), speaking on Wednesday about economic inequality and how the GOP could do better to fight poverty.

Five decades of efforts by the federal government to improve public education have failed, Cantor said, and students need an exit route from low-quality schools.

Proponents of school choice claim that it increases the quality of education by promoting competition among providers of education services. Many states now allow parents to receive taxpayer-funded vouchers to send their children to other types of educational institutions, such as private, parochial or charter schools.

Supporters of traditional public schools argue that vouchers and charters siphon off money from the public system without necessarily improving performance. In addition, they argue that school choice costs taxpayers, and facilitates segregation and inequality.

Cantor, a long-time supporter of school choice, used the speech to criticize New York City Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio over his plans to rein in public charter schools.

Under Michael Bloomberg’s administration, charter schools were allowed to take buildings vacated through the closing of substandard traditional schools. Charters were also permitted to set up shop in unused space in existing school buildings as part of a policy, known as co-location. Bloomberg’s policy of offering free rent to charter schools proved particularly alluring in New York City’s expensive real estate market. These schools dramatically expanded during Bloomberg’s tenure, growing from 7 to 123 in 12 years.

During his campaign, de Blasio promised to charge rent to the wealthiest charter schools as part of a larger effort to slow the growth of these schools. He said that co-location has created tension in many communities across the city.

“This move could devastate the growth of education opportunity in such a competitive real estate market like New York City. Just think of how many families will have their choices taken away if Mayor De Blasio pursues these policies,” Cantor said.

“Mayor de Blasio should abandon this plan and allow New York’s charter schools to flourish,” he added.

Charter schools did not exist 25 years ago and currently enroll about 5 percent of public school students in the 42 states that allow the formation of charter schools. They are financed with tax dollars but independently run, and in most cases teachers do not belong to a union. They are often managed by nonprofit groups and have more freedom in deciding staffing, scheduling, and curriculum.

At the event, the Brookings Institution’s Brown Center on Education Policy released the results of its third annual Education Choice and Competition Index (ECCI). The ECCI analyses school choice and competition in the nation’s largest school districts and scores them based on a variety of factors. New York City, New Orleans, Houston and Denver top the list of friendliest cities for school choice.

Cantor also backed the District of Columbia’s voucher program and the Louisiana Scholarship Program, a school voucher initiative promoted by Gov. Bobby Jindal that was the subject of a lawsuit by the Justice Department over allegations that it “impedes desegregation.”

Cantor attacked the administration for its attempt to try to close the program and then seeking the right to closely monitor it. He urged U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to visit the program and see it for himself.

President Obama, who has called for the expansion of charter schools, does not support voucher programs. He has repeatedly failed to include D.C.’s voucher program in his annual budget request. Congress has reauthorized the program anyway.

“School choice is under attack in the very places that top this year’s rankings,” Cantor said. “It is up to us in this room, and our allies across the nation, to work for and fight for the families and students who will suffer the consequences if school choice is taken away.”

He vowed to push back against those who threaten the “education revolution.”

“Our committees in the House will remain vigilant in their efforts to ensure no one from the government stands in the schoolhouse door between any child and a good education,” Cantor said.

Rodrigo is a freelance writer living in Washington, D.C.

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Top Rated Comments   
Cantor pretends to be for conservative limited constitutional governance-until he can make points. The feds need to get out of the education business altogether. NCLB is an abomination. DeBlasio is an idiot, but for better and more likely worse he is the elected mayor in charge of NYC's schools. If Cantor wants to improve education, repeal NCLB, abolish all federal education grants. end government susbisidies of student loans and ultimately get rid of the federal Department of Education. Until then barking about this is an embarassment. Once again the establishment GOP shows itself to be feckless buffoons.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Punish achievement. . . that's the ticket!
Leftist logic. . .
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
What do Marxists stand for and what do they vehemently oppose, throughout history?

1) they stand for indoctrination, propaganda and against the masses learning the truth concerning the abject failure of Marxism and the murderous death toll in its wake

2) they stand for Orwellian shifting laws , applied or exempted at their whim

3) they stand for Workers Party preferences, perks, pensions and positions that destroy budgets, the inevitable bankruptcy has its anti-preference laws shattered, and the quality of education is so inferior that only cheap indoctrination remains.

4) they stand against Judeo-Christian belief systems and the law that is inculcated stemming from those beliefs

Now, return to the school choice "debate" with these facts planted firmly in mind and begin to unfog the smoke and mirrors.


5) no matter how they don the mask of "compassionate liberals" and scream racism at every attempt to unmask them...it would do us well to first remember their guiding principles. They will attack you through your impressionable children and your useful idiot neighbors
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (25)
All Comments   (25)
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my buddy's step-aunt makes $82/hr on the computer. She has been out of work for 10 months but last month her paycheck was $18010 just working on the computer for a few hours. read this... http://www.dub30.com
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment

just as Florence replied I am amazed that anybody able to profit $4201 in 4 weeks on the computer. go star.COM
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
my buddy's step-aunt makes $76/hour on the laptop. She has been fired from work for 8 months but last month her pay check was $13242 just working on the laptop for a few hours.

have a peek at this site.......... http://goo.gl/tX3mpD
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment

my friend's mom makes $74 every hour on the computer. She has been fired for 5 months but last month her income was $12009 just working on the computer for a few hours. see page star56.com
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama and his demonstrably hypocritical ilk send their children to expensive private schools. Many Democrats have the overwhelming support of the monopoly-defending teachers' unions. The results of this monopoly speak volumes. It is poor black children that have the most to gain from increased educational opportunities. That "progressives" are willing to block these opportunities is a sickening commentary that makes a mockery of "social justice."
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Can't Eric Cantor find anything more important about the daily unlawlful abrogations of Rights of AMERICAN citizens from this Obama Administration and troupes in Congress than this attempt to grab the spotlight?

Are there no more FUNDAMENTAL problems as "representative of the People" in the club of the big boys on the block that he might notice? And comment upon?

Pathetic, so Willy Loman, "Attention must be paid".

Sadly only too common among the "representatives of the People". Perhaps he should CHANGE - TRANSFORM the advisors who decide for him what's really important and what The People care about at this "moment in time".
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
tdiina...on this point my Hubby says, "Beggars are easier to please".
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Since Cantor is thinking stategicly, perhaps he could ponder this.

After Amnesty, Mayor De Blasio's will proliferate like wildfire across the country.

Clown nose Cantor. He's like a conservative in black face. A minstrel..
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
So you can choose to abort your child, but you can't choose what schooling your child will get.

Just so we're clear....
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes, because as Melissa Harris-Perry says, then it's everyone's child, not yours.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Cantor pretends to be for conservative limited constitutional governance-until he can make points. The feds need to get out of the education business altogether. NCLB is an abomination. DeBlasio is an idiot, but for better and more likely worse he is the elected mayor in charge of NYC's schools. If Cantor wants to improve education, repeal NCLB, abolish all federal education grants. end government susbisidies of student loans and ultimately get rid of the federal Department of Education. Until then barking about this is an embarassment. Once again the establishment GOP shows itself to be feckless buffoons.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
As long as we're talking about wishes that will never come true I'd like a 6' redhead bikini model.

Politics is the art of the possible. School vouchers are rather popular, it wouldn't be difficult to make happen. After a while we can ask why the government takes money from people just to turn around and give it back to them. Trying to end DOEd is simply going to open you up to attacks that you are against education. And the idiots who vote, which is most of the electorate, are going to buy it.

You are not a principled individual, you are simply a loser who is attempting to inflate a martyrdom complex. You are nearly as great a threat to the Republic as the vile progs.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
If you don't start cutting the weeds of the federal government and soon, you do nothing but aid progressivism. SLower managed failure is still failure. Once you have accepted and adopted the leftist's presumptions about how things must be you lose anyway. Really does the GOP stand for limited conservative governance or are they really lying to us to get elected? If the possible is progressive leftist lite we're done .
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
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