America’s largest teachers union says it has been working with Joe Biden as part of his transition team after releasing a “policy playbook” suggesting Biden curb access to charter and private schools.
Becky Pringle, president of the National Education Association, told The Wall Street Journal that the largest teachers union is working with Biden and considers him “a partner.”
“He has been working closely with us over these last few months to listen and understand what the issues are that we are facing in this moment. We know we have a partner,” Pringle said.
The New York Post reported that Biden “has called for a ban on federal funding for charter schools that are operated by for-profit companies, which account for 12 percent of charter schools, according to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.”
President Barack Obama did not try to hamper charter school expansion during his administration, during which Biden was vice president.
The move may not sit well with Democrats in urban communities, who have seen the success of charter schools. Shavar Jeffries, president of Democrats for Education Reform, told the Journal that minority students have performed well in charter schools.
“The data is consistently clear that nonprofit public charter schools, particularly in our urban communities that serve our African-American and Latino students, have performed well. For that reason, there’s also very strong support among African-American and Latino parents for charter schools,” Jeffries said.
Jeanne Allen, chief executive of the Center for Education Reform, also expressed concern to the Journal regarding Biden’s partnership with the teachers union.
“I absolutely am deeply concerned that a union-controlled Biden Education Department could have a chilling effect on the progress that the states and parents have made in securing educational options and excellence for the kids,” Allen said.
As The Daily Wire previously reported, the NEA’s policy recommendations include opposition to expanding charter schools:
- Oppose all charter school expansion that undermines traditional public schools.
- Bar federal funding to charter schools, charter school authorizers, and charter school management companies not authorized or operated by local school districts.
- Require charter schools, charter school authorizers, and charter school management companies to abide by the same laws and regulations applicable to traditional public schools.
Since the NEA says up front that they believe charter schools divert resources from traditional public schools, their first suggestion means they are in opposition to all charter school expansion. There is no qualifier.
The NEA has similar issues with private schools and any chance students may have to leave a failing public school for a successful private one.
“The NEA further believes that voucher plans, tuition tax credits, education savings accounts, and related funding mechanisms undermine support for public education, facilitate racial and socio-economic segregation, and weaken the wall of separation between church and state,” the organization stated.
The NEA made its suggestions while also requesting Biden focus more on public schools and provide even more money to public schools, even though decades of data show more money has not improved education.