Biden Flips On School Choice, Says Charter Schools Are 'Gone' If He's Elected

P. Gardner Goldsmith | December 19, 2019
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A few days ago, former Vice President Joe Biden took some extra time away from hobnobbing with Ukrainian neo-Nazis -- and from avoiding questions about how his son got placed on the board of Ukraine’s biggest energy corporation -- to spread some holiday cheer with fellow collectivists on MSNBC’s big “Public Education Forum 2020: Equity and Opportunity for All” special.

And, goodness knows, few things more are evocative of Christmas than a bunch of collectivists talking about how they’ll make things “fair” by taking more of their neighbor’s earnings, increasing the power of the government and leftist teachers over kids’ lives, and avoiding the long-evidenced history of the degenerating public school performance. How could it possibly get more enlightening and thrilling than seeing Biden and his fellow leftist politicians offer their Gregorian chants for anti-individualism and the velvet-gloved fist of central planning?

It turns out there was one more treat for our holiday stockings.

As he so often does, Biden pandered to the crowd by utterly contradicting himself: this time, reversing his previous stance in which he openly endorsed educational school choice and charter schools.

And, as Kim Coultier writes for NationalFile, in 1997, then-Senator Biden said:

When you have an area of the country — and most often here we are talking about inner cities — where the public schools are abysmal or dysfunctional or not working and where most of the children have no way out, it is legitimate to ask what would happen to the public schools with increased competition from private schools… Is it not possible that giving poor kids a way out will force the public schools to improve and result in more people coming back?

But among the MSNBC elite, Biden reversed himself this week, telling the tax-hungry audience:

(I)f I’m president, [Education Secretary] Betsy De Vos’ whole notion, from charter schools to this, are gone.

Which reminds us that both positions indicate how far Joe enjoys straying from what’s actually written in the document he supposedly swore an oath to “protect and defend.”

His first position, implying that charter schools are a great idea for the feds to fund, is not in line with the U.S. Constitution because, of course, the U.S. Constitution offers no enumerated power to fund any form of education or to hand out “grants” to states with strings attached so that the states do what the federal egomaniacs want them to do. And, in addition to the concept of federalism that’s supposedly built into the document, part of the reason that is the case is because, as Dr. Samuel Blumenfeld pointed out in his detailed and powerful histories of education in the U.S., public, tax-funded education was virtually non-existent in America until the latter part of the 19th Century (and, by the way, literacy rates were as high as they are today, while the qualitative content of what constituted “literacy” was higher).

Biden’s new position is also a ribald insult to anyone who might ask him to abide by his so-called oath.

His new stance as reported by MSNBC is not just one standing in opposition to federal involvement in education, including charter schools. If he were to take such a position, leftist teachers and their unions would go ballistic, and, of course, he would be tossing away one of the thick ropes of power the feds have created to control state education content and many other state decisions. But at least he’d be on firm constitutional ground.

Nay - instead, Joe said this:

The bottom line is it siphons off money for our public schools, which are already in enough trouble.

No, Joe. You syphon off money, and so do all politicians who believe their utopian ideas for making the world “better” and “fairer” allow them to take my neighbor’s earnings and direct them towards state-coddled so-called “educators” who consistently turn out great armies of illiterate, indoctrinated teenagers. They are not “your” public schools, and the very notion of “public schools” forces people who have chosen not to have kids into a realm where they not only have to pay for the education of those kids, they have to argue with others about the content of that education.

Neither the federal Constitution, nor simple ethics, nor economics are on your side, Joe. And if you decide that you want to use the Executive Branch to smother state initiatives to help give parents at least a bit more liberty to get their kids out of the public school models and into charter schools, you are so distanced from your publicized “devotion” to the principles of the Constitution as to make one wonder how you can speak about it without feeling shame.

Of course, it seems as if it’s not often that politicians feel shame.