The Hypocritical Education President

Barack Obama plays the education president by extolling school for children but fights school choice and uses private school.

Here is how President Barack Obama’s weekly address began on Saturday (including the introductory explanation):

In this week’s address, the President reiterated his commitment to expanding access to education, and to spreading the joy of reading to more children and young adults.  Earlier this week the President announced two new efforts that, building on the progress already made by his ConnectEd initiative, will do just that: a challenge to mayors, libraries, and school leaders to help every student get a library card; and commitments from libraries and major publishers to provide more than $250 million in free e-Books for low-income students.  In his address, the President also previewed his upcoming commencement speech at Lake Area Tech, in Watertown, South Dakota, where he will discuss his plan to make two years of community college as free and universal for every American as high school is today. The President is working to ensure every child has the access to the education and resources they need to be successful.

[…]

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
May 2, 2015

Hi everybody.  I’m speaking with you from the DC Public Library in Anacostia, where I just met with a group of promising middle school students.

We spent some time talking about their lives, and how we all care about their success – and how that starts with a good education.

So one thing I announced here in Anacostia is a new project by libraries and major publishers to provide more than $250 million in free e-Books for low-income students.

We also issued a challenge to mayors, libraries, and school leaders to help every student get a library card, so they can expand their horizons in a place like this.

It’s all part of our ConnectED initiative to connect 99% of America’s students to high-speed Internet.  Because no matter who you are, where you live, or how much money you’ve got, you should be able to access the world’s knowledge and information just like anyone else.

In a global economy, we’ve got to help ensure that everyone, of every age, in every zip code – urban and rural – has the chance to learn the skills that lead directly to a good job.

[See also, “School Turns Kids Into Little ‘B-Words’]

That’s the President’s talk, but what is his walk?

While talking up a bunch of tech stuff that is, frankly, unnecessary to education, the President has moved to eliminate school choice.

CNS News reports,

Obama’s latest budget proposal calls for phasing it out again—and preventing children in D.C. public schools from escaping to private ones.

“The Obama administration has tried for years to sunset the program, and the president’s fiscal 2013 budget request zeroed out funding for the program, though the proposal was never carried out,” Education Week reported last month.

“The fiscal 2016 budget request includes $43.2 million, down from $45 million last year, and $3.2 million of that must be used to carry out an evaluation of the program,” reported Education Week. “In addition, the proposal specifically states that the money will be made available until it’s all used up, an attempt to sunset the program once again and block new enrollees.”

Stephen Moore of the Heritage Foundation has noted that more families in D.C. would like to participate in the program than currently have the opportunity to do so.

“Nearly 6,000 kids from lower-income families have benefited from these scholarships–which reach more than $8,300 a year for primary school and more than $12,500 a year for high school,” writes Moore. “That’s still about one-third lower overall than what it costs per pupil to educate students in Washington, D.C.’s public schools.”

“Almost all – 97.4 percent–of the D.C. students who get the scholarship money are blacks and Latinos,” says Moore. “Even more would like to take advantage of the program: Every year four times as many D.C. minority children sign up for the voucher program as there are funded slots available.”

I’m not a particular fan of giving away public money, but Barack Obama loves the idea—just not for the purpose of giving students and their parents real economic options. He loves to posture, but he is depriving parents of the chance to save their children from a proven failure in education.

In the meantime, he sends his own children to an elite private school.

Barack Obama is happy to sacrifice the educations of other children while taking advantage of his position to ensure a better one for his own.

As an education president, Barack Obama is a hypocrite.