Published DateTo the editor,
Remember Bizarro World? This world of opposites from Superman Comics of the 1960s was cube-shaped and their motto was "Us do opposite of all Earthly things!"
Bizarro World has come to the Statehouse in Concord, where the motto seems to be, "Us do the opposite of what government should do!"
Democrats talk of themselves as saviors for the poor and downtrodden (the 99 percent), while painting Republicans as heartless and cold. So it should come as some surprise that the Democrats are fighting tooth and nail to repeal a program designed solely to expand education choices to children from families making less than 300 percent of the federal poverty level. Upper-income families have choices now, but few-lower income families do. The right education can lift a child up to full potential, and Democrats are opposed: Welcome to Bizarro World.
Imagine your child going to a school where he is bullied relentlessly, yet you are powerless, lacking the resources to choose a better school.
Imagine knowing there is a public school in the neighboring town that has an academic or extracurricular program that would greatly benefit your child but you can't afford to move there.
Imagine learning that there is a private school nearby that offers programs that would greatly help your autistic child, but even with the financial aid they offer, the cost is just out of your reach.
Just today I learned of a woman who wants to use the new scholarship program to switch her child from a private school to a public school in the next town. The Democrats would say no, making her a slave to her zip code. Bizarro World.
These circumstances are real: I could introduce you to these families, and many others in similar circumstances. They are the sole reasons why I worked to pass the school choice scholarship bill last year. But this year the Democrats are voting in lock step to repeal that bill. It's bad enough that they willfully and continually misrepresent the facts. It's worse when you realize that they are saying to lower-income families, "Too bad. We, not you, know what's best."
But "best" for whom? Democrats argue that parental choice means depriving districts of state adequacy funding (currently $3,450). The Democrats are putting the interests of the public school bureaucracy ahead of the needs of children from lower-income families.
Republicans believe this is wrong. Republicans believe that our first and only focus must be on children as individuals. Children are our most precious resource, so it is also in the public's interest that they attend school in the environment where they will do their best. Republicans understand that parents are in the best position to know what's right for their children. It's the Democrats who are only willing to allow wealthy parents to make that choice. Bizarro World.
If you can afford to pay tuition at a school outside your district, Democrats say that's perfectly okay. In fact, many of them do. They are trying very hard to ignore (and have you ignore) the fact that any child leaving public school for any reason has the same effect on state adequacy payments to that school. Yet they use "loss of aid" as the reason to stop lower-income children from leaving their public school.
Tell your Democratic representatives and senators you think what they are doing is bizarre. It's time they come back to Earth.