Doing the Right Thing for Schools, and the Education of Our Children

By Greg Maresca

In his initial run for Pennsylvania governor, Josh Shapiro educated anyone paying attention to the art of the political flip-flop, as it was his support of educational scholarships that helped get him the commonwealth’s top job in Harrisburg. Once the ballots declared Shapiro the winner, the new governor, along with his wife and children—who never spent a day in public school—rolled over for the teachers’ union when Shapiro vetoed the scholarship legislation.

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Like the Clintons and the Obamas before them, the Shapiros have this aversion to public education. All three families underscore how Democrats will sacrifice their voters’ children for the teachers’ unions, but certainly not their own. Where is the Diversity-Equity-Inclusion (DEI) posse when you need them most? Oh, that’s right: They are contaminating those same public schools the elite avoid like a pandemic.

Another attempt at legislating for scholarships that would provide funding for public school students has risen like a phoenix after being left for just another Pennsylvania roadkill bill thanks to Shapiro’s veto.

In May, the Pennsylvania Senate Education Committee voted 8-3 to advance the bill.

These “scholarships” would enable low-income students from poorly performing public schools to attend private schools. It is a unique situation where the funding would have its own appropriation and would not touch public school funding.

Despite reassurances from Dr. Anthony Fauci and his allies at the National Institutes of Health, student progress nationwide continues to suffer greatly in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Many “high school graduates” are ill-prepared for neither college, the military, nor the workplace.

It isn’t just Pennsylvania but from sea to shining sea that the American public educational system should have the plug pulled. The problems are many as they are complex: plummeting test scores, overt indoctrination, school shootings, bullying and teachers who have no power over any of this but are excoriated for it all. Then there are the teachers’ unions that prioritize their own interests over the interests of the children in their care.

Until we come to terms with all of this, we need to stop pretending reform is conceivable. It isn’t. Solutions include choices: charter and private schools, parochial schools, homeschooling and voucher and scholarship programs. The only choice Democrats offer any family is to terminate their child’s beating heart. The time is long overdue for providing parents the right to decide what education is best for their child.

Polling from the Commonwealth Foundation reveals 77% of Pennsylvania voters support the scholarship legislation. This includes 94% of blacks and 83% of those with income below $40,000. With only 34% of Philadelphia students proficient in English, and 15% in math, why wouldn’t they?

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There should be an exclusive circle in Dante’s Inferno for politicians who park their progeny in private schools, while voting against school choice for their constituency.

Iowa implemented universal school choice, irrespective of zip codes and income. Politicians love to break up monopolies, so what about the monopoly on public education? How is this not a slam dunk?

The teachers’ unions abhor scholarships, vouchers, you name it. Will Shapiro dance to the unions’ tune again, or will he show ethical courage, rather than become another profile in political expediency?

Democrats grease the rails in the race-to-the-bottom throughout the public education industrial complex as they refuse to give minorities the key that will free them from their dependency chains. It takes political will to break the teachers’ union and fix our failing education system. A quality education should never be a consequence of political wrangling.

I am told Shapiro’s future includes running for president. The only way that can happen for a Democrat is with full union support. Shapiro needs to find a way to kill the bill while blaming Republicans.

Provided the bill fails, Republicans need to shout this from the rooftops, nationwide. This proves Democrats are nothing but a hand puppet of the teachers’ unions and other special interest groups who could care less for what is best for their constituency.

School choice for every K-12 student in America where the monies follow them is a must. Competition produces more educational options that will result in better educated children, which benefits everyone.This can’t happen soon enough.

Greg Maresca is a New York City native and U.S. Marine Corps veteran who writes for the Sample News Group while residing in the Pennsylvania Coal Region. His work can also be found in the Remnant, a national Catholic publication. In his stickball days, he was a two-sewer bat.

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