School Choice

Elizabeth Warren: 'Money for Public Schools Should Stay in Public Schools.'

Most Democrats agreed, though Andrew Yang argued that it made more sense to fund families directly.


When it came to education policy, most of the Democratic debate participants had one big idea: throw more money at public schools and public school teachers.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) vowed to appoint a public school teacher to the position of secretary of education. She said that "money for public schools should stay in public schools, not go anywhere else." This statement eludes the fact that the taxpayers do not fund public schools for the benefit of the schools themselves: The money is supposed to help the children enrolled there. If the schools are failing these kids, perhaps they should be able to spend the money elsewhere.

Warren also touted universal pre-K, even though the gains from such policies are not particularly impressive. Sens. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) and Kamala Harris (D–Calif.) echoed her comments about the importance of funding public schools and raising teachers' salaries, ignoring the fact that teachers are often well-compensated, receive good benefits, work fewer hours than other employees, and avoid accountability for negative classroom outcomes. Indeed, teachers make more than the average worker in 20 states.

The most refreshing comments relating to education policy came from Andrew Yang, who made no apologies for supporting charter schools when they deliver better results than the traditional public school system. Yang pointed out that many kids are significantly affected by factors outside the classroom, and thus it would make more sense to give money to families directly.

Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro and Sen. Cory Booker (D–N.J.) also sounded cautiously pro-reform, though they were careful not to alienate left-leaning constituencies who are skeptical of school choice. Booker has largely muted his previously pro-charter rhetoric: Unsurprisingly, he did not mention that he previously worked closely with current Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos on school choice advocacy (before she joined the Trump administration and he decided to run for president).

NEXT: Democratic Candidates Agree—Let’s Get Out of Afghanistan

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  1. “money for public schools should stay in public schools, not go anywhere else.”

    Certainly. Of course, the public schools have to *get* the money first, and under a system of school tax credits, the money might not make it to the public schools if the taxpayers choose private or home schools. Ha ha.

    1. “money for public schools should stay in public schools, not go anywhere else.”
      The problem (from Warren’s stand point) is if this money goes to charter schools which operate under the state’s laws and which do not use in most cases union teachers it does not go the the public schools where unions have contracts and therefore not back to the politicians who passed these laws. Now, if Warren or any other politicians wants to have that money in the public school system, let the public school system compete for that tax money. Now if the public school is better than these charter like schools the public school will keep the students and the money but if not then the student goes to another school (charter like or another public school) and that school gets the money. The schools that have the best academic record will attract students and the money that goes with that student.

  2. Booker looked like he could be almost acceptable until he went all Spartacus.

    1. Booker’s opinions shift in the breeze so much he should be painted orange and stuck at the end of a runway.

      1. Why does everyone have to bring Trump into this?

    2. Booker asked a court nominee if he had any LGBTQAI law clerks.

      That should have been a disqualifying moment. There’s lots of things you can’t ask in a job interview. Having the fact that you asked about such things in job interviews as a condition of confirmation shows that you are incompetent to lead.

      Not to mention that the nominee was not a judge at the time, and as such didn’t have law clerks of any type.

    1. God bless ’80s hair metal videos.

      1. Those girls are jealous that that musicians have more hair than them.

        1. They spent more on makeup than the girls did too.

  3. Have you been exposed to student loans? Recent juries in California have decided that student loans can cause stress related cancer in California! If YOU have been exposed to student loans call Senator Warren NOW!

    1. You sound like one of those ambulance chasers trolling for clients as 11:32 pm.

    2. Can I combine this with the lawsuit I can currently get involved in do to injuries from combat ear plugs, glyphosate and hernia mesh?

      1. No mesothelioma?

        1. Not quite old enough for that one.

          1. That is ageist and not acceptable. Another victim lawsuit!

  4. The Democrats must really be expecting that their endless chants of racism will be enough to keep African Americans voting in their favor. Charter schools and school vouchers are fairly popular with African Americans.

    1. I heard a stat on the radio today – haven’t vetted it and it sounds somewhat dubious, but here it is anyway: 89% of the new jobs created in the Trump era have gone to black, hispanic and female workers. I suppose this explains the record low unemployment among minorities.

      Even if that number is highly fudged, anything close to that should be enough to send the media spin machine into conniption fits.

      1. Black and Hispanic unemployment are at historical lows or near lows. Their pay is also up, and the paygap (that mythical demon) is at record lows. The same for the much ballyhooed gender pay gap.


  5. Tax money isn’t “for public schools”, it’s to benefit citizens. It’s revealing Dems assert the schools’ ownership of these funds as if the intended beneficiaries aren’t important.

    1. They care more about the public school employees and system than they do about education, Warren made that clear. Public education employees first, children way down the list and parents, just shut up and vote Democrat.

  6. This statement eludes the fact that the taxpayers do not fund public schools for the benefit of the schools themselves

    Eludes? Really?
    I’ll be happy to pick up sidework as a Reason blogeditor. I’m cheap — just gimme enough money to stay drunk all day on blended scotch.

    Or…I dunno, Grammerly’s pretty cheap.

    1. Whoops. Guess I should read with my glasses on. And less drunk.

  7. Really, in all honesty, the word that the hair-do was looking for was “evades”, not “eludes”. So, don’t be too hard on yourself, and pass the scotch.

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