(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)
Lindsey Burke of the Heritage Foundation published the results of the latest survey of where members of Congress sent/send their own children to school. The survey finds:
• 44 percent of Senators and 36 percent of Representatives had ever sent their children to private schools. Among the general public, only 11 percent of American students attend private school.
• While members of the 111th Congress practice school choice for their own families, they should also support school choice policies for all of America’s families. A failed amendment offered by Senator John Ensign (R–NV) on behalf of the popular and successful D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program would have passed if Members of Congress who exercised school choice for theirown children had voted in favor of the amendment. The future of the D.C. voucher program is now uncertain.Approximately 20 percent of Members of the 111th Congress attended private high school themselves—nearly twice the rate of the American public.
The Washington Post editorialized on the study this morning:
The gap between what Congress practices and what it preaches was best illustrated by the Heritage Foundation’s analysis of a recent vote to preserve the program. The measure was defeated by the Senate 58 to 39; it would have passed if senators who exercised school choice for their own children had voted in favor. Alas, the survey doesn’t name names, save for singling out Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), architect of the language that threatens the program, for sending his children to private school and attending private school himself…
Mr. Duncan, in a recent interview, spoke eloquently of his family’s choice of Arlington as a place to live because of what he called the “determining factor” of schools. He told Science magazine: “My family has given up so much so that I could have the opportunity to serve; I didn’t want to try to save the country’s children and our educational system and jeopardize my own children’s education.” We don’t think it’s too much to expect our leaders to treat their constituents with the same fairness and regard they demand for their own families.
Next year, I’d love to see Heritage go in to even greater depth. Let’s see how many Congressmen sent their children to Anacostia High, etc. Let’s put the over/under at one.
I’ll take the under.
Don’t forget to remind folks that Congress pays itself well enough to consider themselves in at least the top 5% of income earners nationwide. They earn what $174,000 a year now?