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Tipsheet

At Poverty Summit, Obama Praises Public Schools--While His Kids Go to Private School

Another case of "do as I say, not as I do" by President Obama.

Speaking at the Catholic-Evangelical Leadership Summit on Overcoming Poverty at Georgetown today, President Obama discussed investing in public schools and bemoaned the fact that many people choose to instead send their kids to private schools.

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Obama's daughters attend Sidwell Friends school, a private Quaker school in northwest DC with an annual tuition of $37,750. Prior to his election as president, his daughters attended the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, a private school with a tuition of $27,384 for grades K-5.

Public schools are free.

Obama himself was educated at the elite Punahou School (on scholarship) in Hawaii from fifth grade until his graduation. Following his graduation, he attended Occidental College, Columbia University, and Harvard Law School--all private colleges.

I'm not faulting the president for sending his children to private schools. If I were in a similar position as the Obamas I'd send my children to the best school money could buy. I am, however, faulting Obama for attempting to guilt those who do the same thing he and Michelle (and his own grandparents) decided was best for their family and for their children. There are plenty of perfectly acceptable reasons for a family to educate their children outside of the public school environment. Safety concerns (which are part of the reason why the Obamas chose to attend Sidwell), curriculum strength, teacher quality, or even attendance policies are all legitimate reasons why people have chosen to opt out of public schools that have nothing to do with a desire to separate oneself of the hoi polloi.

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A child's education shouldn't be used for political points. A kid only has one real chance of attending third grade--and as long as they learn something, it shouldn't matter if the school is public or private.

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