In the News: Sanders Chooses Teachers Unions Over Black Voters

Bernie Sanders - Link to the Wall Street JournalLast week, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders called for more regulations on existing charter schools and a moratorium on federal funding for new ones.

In the Wall Street Journal, Jason L. Riley notes that this stance is likely to cost Sanders support among black voters, who strongly favor charter schools and school vouchers.

Riley writes,

Mr. Sanders’s claim notwithstanding, it is the traditional public school system, not the alternatives, that disproportionately hurts minority students. Why should black parents be expected to pledge undying loyalty to an education model that has been failing their children for generations? Black and brown kids are assigned to the most violent schools with the least effective teachers and staff, while the unions and their political allies repeatedly call for—and receive—more funding and little accountability.

Mr. Sanders will find support for his attack on school choice from civil-rights groups who take money from teachers’ unions, but he shouldn’t mistake NAACP support for black support. Many black families are convinced that school choice is the solution, not the problem. Which is why there are tens of thousands of minority children languishing on charter school wait lists in cities across the country.

Details on support for charter schools and vouchers among various groups can be found in the EdNext Poll and in this blog entry on Democratic primary voters.

— Education Next

Last Updated


Notify Me When Education Next

Posts a Big Story

Business + Editorial Office

Program on Education Policy and Governance
Harvard Kennedy School
79 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone (617) 496-5488
Fax (617) 496-4428

For subscription service to the printed journal
Phone (617) 496-5488

Copyright © 2024 President & Fellows of Harvard College