Please disable your Ad Blocker to better interact with this website.

Jannah Theme License is not validated, Go to the theme options page to validate the license, You need a single license for each domain name.
CommentariesGovernment PoliciesNews

Commentary: Union Leaders and Education Bureaucrats Have Long Ignored Parents’ Concerns. Now Parents Have Had Enough.

"It was the teachers’ unions who refused to reopen public schools long after private schools had resumed in-person learning."

Commentary by Keri D. Ingraham originally published by RealClearEducation and RealClearWire

Since the nationwide school closures in the spring of 2020, parents have become painfully aware that public schools have conflicting interests with their own and are failing to effectively educate their children. Consequently, parents are looking for educational alternatives for their children—and the K-12 education market is changing.

Parents of public school students have put up with prolonged school closures, poor remote instruction, reduced instruction hours, mask mandates, vaccine mandates (in some cases), and even being restricted from their child’s school campus beyond the parking lot or school office in the name of “safety.”

Combine all this with the schools’ active promotion of critical race theory, gender ideology, climate hysteria, and an anti-American worldview, and it’s no wonder that more and more families want out.

Dissatisfaction with public schools has snowballed, as teachers’ unions and educational establishment leaders, in conjunction with left-wing politicians, have failed to respond to parental concerns, focusing instead on preserving their power and pursuing their agendas.

It was the teachers’ unions who refused to reopen public schools long after private schools had resumed in-person learning. Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers, even directly influenced the CDC’s recommendations against fully reopening schools, despite mounting scientific evidence that it was safe to do so. For Weingarten and the unions, it was about leveraging their power; they effectively held families hostage until their negotiating demands were met, instead of doing what was best for student learning.

One of the few positive results of the Covid-19 pandemic response, which otherwise proved a catastrophe for K-12 education, was that virtual classrooms allowed the curtain to be pulled back on what was being taught. The woke, union-driven politicization of classrooms at the expense of academic learning was witnessed by parents, who had a front-row seat in their children’s classrooms for the first time. Out of concern for what they saw, parents began engaging more deeply in their children’s education, and the general public took notice as well.

As a result, we have seen a dramatic shift in views—including among Democrat voters—on the issue of school choice. According to Morning Consult December 2022 poll data, 72% of adults and 77% of parents with school-aged students support school choice through education savings accounts (ESAs).

While parents’ voices continue to be ignored by the education establishment, administrators, teachers’ unions, and school board members, Republican governors and policymakers have listened. With legislation put forth in 30 states, including over 50 school choice bills, 2021 was dubbed the year of school choice.

Then in July 2022, Arizona made itself the gold standard for educational freedom, thanks to the leadership of Governor Doug Ducey. A milestone in school-choice expansion was achieved with the state’s landmark passage of universal ESAs, which affords all 1.1 million students in Arizona approximately $7,000 each for the educational options of their parents’ choosing. Other states are following suit to provide universal school choice to families.

With families wanting alternatives to the traditional public school and with the passage of more school choice bills, the K-12 education market is experiencing a much-needed shakeup. Parents now see themselves as consumers of K-12 education for their children. They are researching online, talking to friends and relatives, and considering their options.

Creative and innovative education models are being developed and launched to meet the demand. These models range from virtual academies, hybrid schools, learning pods, micro-schools, private tutors, and the expansion of homeschooling.

Families who have left public schools are not coming back. Why would they, since they’re experiencing better academics, better customer service, and learning that aligns with their own values? And these satisfied parents and students are sharing their stories with others.

A new era of K-12 education is emerging. Free markets are driving competition and innovation. Education entrepreneurs are stepping forward and leaving behind the bloated bureaucracies, financial mismanagement and inefficiency, radical indoctrination, and dismal academic performance of traditional, union-controlled public schools.

The door to breaking the government-run public education industry’s monopoly on K-12 education has been cracked open. As it continues to widen, the number of student and family beneficiaries will grow, and the whole country will benefit.

By Keri D. Ingraham – This article was originally published by RealClearEducation and made available via RealClearWire.

Deneen Borelli

Deneen Borelli is the author of Blacklash: How Obama and the Left are Driving Americans to the Government Plantation. Deneen is a contributor with Newsmax Broadcasting. She is a former Fox News contributor and has appeared regularly on “Hannity,” “Fox & Friends,” “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” and “America’s Newsroom.” She has also appeared on Fox Business Network programs “Making Money with Charles Payne,” “The Evening Edit with Liz MacDonald,” and “Cavuto: Coast to Coast.” Previously, Deneen appeared on MSNBC, CNN, the BBC and C-SPAN. In addition to television, Deneen co-hosted radio programs on the SiriusXM Patriot channel with her husband Tom. Recently, Deneen co-hosted the Reigniting Liberty podcast with Tom. Deneen is a frequent speaker at political events, including the FreedomWorks 9.12.2009 March on D.C. which drew a crowd estimated at over 800,000 people. Deneen is also an Ambassador with, a social media platform that promotes free speech, and with the America First Policy Institute (AFPI) which advances policies that put Americans first. Deneen testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources in May 2011 and before the Ohio House Public Utilities Committee in December 2011. Previously, Deneen was a host, Outreach Director with overseeing its outreach program, a Project 21 Senior Fellow, and Manager of Media Relations with the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). Prior to joining CORE, Deneen worked at Philip Morris USA for 20 years. During her corporate career at Philip Morris she worked in various positions, her last as Project Management Coordinator in the Information Management department where she was responsible for the department’s mandated quality processes, communications, sales information and database management. Deneen began her Philip Morris career as a secretary and advanced to positions of increasing responsibilities. Deneen worked full-time and attended classes at night for 11 years to earn her B.A. in Managerial Marketing from Pace University, New York City. Deneen served on the Board of Trustees with The Opportunity Charter School in Harlem, New York. She appeared in educational videos for children, worked as a runway fashion model, and auditioned for television commercials. Her interests include ancient history, pistol target shooting, photography, and volunteering at her church. Deneen currently resides in Connecticut with her husband Tom.

Related Articles