The president of one of the largest teachers’ unions in the country thinks that families having a choice of what school their children attend is “undermining democracy.”
In a now-viral clip, a resurfaced video from October featured American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten declaring her beliefs in a rant about school choice. The teachers’ union boss ripped into school choice advocates, including former White House Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, American Federation For Children Senior Fellow Corey DeAngelis, and Manhattan Institute’s Christopher Rufo.
“They have not one thing that they offer as a solution other than privatizing or voucherizing schools which is about undermining democracy and undermining civil discourse and undermining pluralism because 90% of our kids go to public schools still,” she said in a video shared on X by Nicole Neily, president of Parents Defending Education.
“They just divide. Divide. Divide. Divide,” Weingarten said.
Randi Weingarten says people who want to let families choose where they send their children to school are attacking our democracy:
“[School choice advocates] have not one thing that they offer as a solution other than privatizing or voucherizing schools, which is about… pic.twitter.com/EP4mQ1Kpq0
— Nicki Neily (@nickineily) December 18, 2023
While policies allowing free choice allow families to decide where their children will attend schools rather than have it be determined by zip code in most cases, teacher unions generally argue that this freedom affects taxpayer dollars. This, in turn, can negatively impact the use and allocation of those dollars to address teacher salaries and district programs in area schools.
“Randi Weingarten says people who want to let families choose where they send their children to school are attacking our democracy,” Neily captioned her post.
DeAngelis shared the clip and Weingarten’s comments, prompting a response from Rufo on X.
“Rufo, DeAngelis, DeVos. They’re all connected.”
– Randi Weingarten https://t.co/FYC5IE9Sf9
— Corey A. DeAngelis, school choice evangelist (@DeAngelisCorey) December 20, 2023
In another post, DeAngelis snarked that “Apparently Randi Weingarten’s ‘digital director’ making over $200,000 a year counted how many times I responded to her this year. They said 5,000. Maybe about as many times as the number of times she lied.”
DeAngelis said “it’s nice living rent-free in Randi Weingarten’s head,” in a comment to Fox News Digital.
“This video tells me we’re over the target. She knows she’s losing power and there’s nothing she can do about it,” he said. “Randi Weingarten complains that we only offer one solution, which is an odd critique. That’s like criticizing a doctor for prescribing antibiotics to treat strep throat. Of course I’m going to offer the best solution: empowering all families to choose the education providers that best meet their needs and aligns with their values.”
“She undermined democracy when she fought to keep schools closed as long as she possibly could. But the truth is the left uses this phrase–just like they do when they call everything racist–to throw anything at the wall to see what will stick. There is zero logic to her argument – it’s just an attempt to smear the perfectly reasonable policy of allowing families to take their own children’s education dollars to the education providers of their choosing,” DeAngelis added.
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