February 22, 2006
Something marvelous is happening in Milwaukee. School vouchers are working and democrats have been trying to stop them as they seek to do the will of the teachers unions instead of looking out for the welfare of the city’s poorest minority children.
When vouchers were introduced in Milwaukee politicians agreed that only 15 percent of the city’s poor children could use them. But vouchers have been so effective in improving academic performance that more of Milwaukee’s poor want them. Even the head of the public school board thinks school choice should be expanded. Democrat governor Jim Doyle has opposed allowing more poor kids to flee failing schools because he’s doing the bidding of the teachers union. But TV commercials in which the poor plead for a chance have changed the dynamic. A compromise has been worked out and extra vouchers will now be allowed.
Let the poor escape these schools! When they do they prosper in every way. As Milwaukee succeeds, other cities will join the voucher program. That will benefit the kids most of all and break the education monopoly at last.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.