Walter E. Williams

Currently, Washington, D.C. has an Opportunity Scholarship Program, which allows qualified low-income families to claim up to $7,500 per student toward a private education of their choice. Obama's Democratic Congress, acting on the behalf of the education establishment, has killed the program and there's the possibility that the 1,700 students currently enrolled will have to return to D.C. public schools.

The staunchest opponents of school choice are hypocrites. They want, demand and can afford school choice for themselves but for others not so affluent school choice it is a different matter. President and Mrs. Barack Obama enrolled their two daughters in Washington's most prestigious Sidwell Friends School, forking over $28,000 a year for each girl. Whilst senator from Illinois, the Obama's enrolled their girls in the University of Chicago's Laboratory School, a private school in Chicago charging almost $20,000 for each girl. A Heritage Foundation survey found that 37 percent of the members of the House of Representatives and 45 percent of senators in the 110th Congress sent their children to private schools. Public school teachers enroll their own children in nonpublic schools to a much greater extent than the general public, in some cases four and five times greater. In Cincinnati, about 41 percent of public school teachers send their children to nonpublic schools. In Chicago it is 38 percent, Los Angeles 24 percent, New York 32 percent, and Philadelphia 44 percent. The behavior of public school teachers is quite suggestive. It's like my offering to take you to a restaurant and you find out that neither the chef nor the waiters eat there. That suggests they have some inside information from which you might benefit.

For people in power to tolerate the Washington, D.C. school system is despicable. For a black president to do so might qualify as betrayal.


Walter E. Williams

Dr. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is the author of 'Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?' and 'Up from the Projects: An Autobiography.'
 
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