School Choice For Me, But Not For Theeby Doug Mataconis
That, it appears, is the attitude shared by a sizable plurality of Senators and Members of Congress who choose to send their children to private schools rather than public schools:
Many Members of Congress value the opportunity to choose a safe and effective school for their own children, yet many of these same Members consistently oppose school choice legislation that would give the same opportunity to other families. For example, Senators Edward Kennedy (D–MA) and Hillary Clinton (D–NY) have been outspoken opponents of school choice initiatives even though both have sent their children to private schools.
Since 2000, The Heritage Foundation has conducted several surveys of Members of Congress to determine how many Senators and Representatives practice school choice by sending their children to private school. In 2007, The Heritage Foundation updated this survey and found that 37 percent of Representatives and 45 percent of Senators in the 110th Congress sent their children to private schools—almost four times the rate of the general population.
Based on the survey results, if all of the Members who exercised school choice for their own children had supported school choice in policy, every major legislative effort in recent years to give parents school choice would have passed. Congress should support policies that give all families the opportunity to choose the best school options for their children.
I don’t begrudge the efforts of Congressman and Senators who want to do better for the children, and who wish to give them an education better than what’s offered in a public school. The question is why they, and the rich people they often talk about taxing to death, should be the only ones able to do make this choice.