Well, Teachers Union Leaders Could Use a New Argument Against School Choice

Take your hats off to those teachers union officials, they sure know how to plan ahead sometimes. The Education Intelligence Agency’s Mike Antonucci brings our attention to a PBS Newshour clip in which NEA president Dennis Van Roekel tried to respond to a question about why private educational choice works at the college level but should be rejected for K-12 students:

I think post-secondary education, college and university, I think you have to put that into a different category than K-12 education, because then you’re choosing between a career or college and specialized training. That definitely makes sense. But for young children, they shouldn’t have to be bussed somewhere. It should be in their neighborhood.

Huh? Giving a voucher or tax credit is bad because a kid might have to ride a bus? Antonucci presumes Van Roekel meant to say something else. Perhaps his analysis is correct. I’m not sure the Friedman Foundation will need to add this argument to its list of anti-school choice myths that need to be rebutted.

But could you blame the teachers unions and their allies from trying to prep new arguments against school choice? Especially when just last week judges in Indiana unanimously shot down one of the favorite anti-choice arguments. The Denver Post‘s Vincent Carroll explains how the Hoosier ruling holds out good news for Douglas County, Colorado:

Opponents of school choice in both states had been confident the Blaine provisions gave them the upper hand. What they didn’t count on were judges adopting the entirely reasonable position — modeled after a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court — that if education money flows to families, as it does in Douglas County and Indiana, it is a direct benefit to them and of only incidental benefit to the school a child attends.

As our local case almost certainly gears up to head for the Colorado Supreme Court and a decision some other year, students and parents can only be buoyed by the good news coming out of Indiana. While the Blaine Amendment argument against choice hopefully soon withers on the vine, maybe the NEA and its ilk will soon step up the “school bus” argument.

I’ll chalk that up as winning news for educational freedom.