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Newswire – February 4, 2020

STATE OF THE UNION’s BIPARTISAN THEME. Tonight’s State of the Union address by President Donald J. Trump will very likely include more than a passing reference to education reform, as Jeanne shared with the Washington Post the other day, and specifically, the Administration’s effort to enact education freedom scholarships to help low-income students choose the schools they’d prefer to attend outside of their attendance zone. Tonight will not be the first time, nor the last, that a president makes a national pitch for giving parents like Stephanie Davis, one of the president’s guests tonight, more power to direct the education of their children, a right that the U.S. Supreme Court has validated time and time again. From Reagan, to Clinton to Bush to Obama, edreform has always had a bi-partisan appeal. Read CER’s statement here.

CUOMO STEPS UP FOR CHARTERS. Showing once again that support for innovation and opportunity in education is a bi-partisan issue, New York Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo’s new budget calls for opening 15 more charter schools and that charters would get a boost in funding.  What a breath of fresh air compared to NY City Mayor Bill deBlasio’s “hating” of charters and their supporters. And what great news for the thousands of New York kids trapped in underperforming schools. Mille Grazie Governatore!  Okay — that’s Italian — our way of sneaking in mention of the U.S. Italia Education Innovation Festival.  CER is co-sponsoring this first ever Italian global EdTech event on April 27 - 29. You will be treated to exceptional speakers from both countries — not to mention beautiful surroundings and Italian cuisine.


SPEAKING OF BIPARTISANSHIP. And we just were — a new survey from the American Federation For Children shows results that may seem shocking to some but are not the least bit surprising to anyone who has followed public opinion on the school choice issue. The survey asked Democrat voters if they would be more likely or less likely to vote for a Presidential candidate in favor of eliminating all federal public charter school funding. 65% of Latino voters, 62% of African American voters and 56% of all Democrat primary voters said "less likely".    56% of all Democrat primary voters said “less likely”. Only 11% of Democrat voters said “more likely”. This and many other surveys with similar results show that Democrat candidates who mindlessly toe the unions’ anti-charter line are tone-deaf to their constituencies and self-destructive to their candidacies.


THE TYRANNY OF ZIP CODE. Kids who are stuck in underperforming schools because of their zip codes — often being just a block away from a different zip code with far superior schools — is a recurring theme of ours. A real-life case study from Chicago meticulously documents the absurdity of such situations and how it hurts kids. Spoiler alert:  “We’ve identified many similar school pairs in cities across the U.S.—one elite public school and one failing public school, separated by nothing more than an arbitrary line drawn by a school district bureaucrat.”  In 2020, arbitrary lines drawn by any kind of bureaucrat must not be allowed to keep students from the ability to pursue their education and career path that is best for them. A long read, but a fine explanation of how unfair the tyranny of the zip code really is.


Founded in 1993, the Center for Education Reform aims to expand educational opportunities that lead to improved economic outcomes for all Americans — particularly our youth — ensuring that conditions are ripe for innovation, freedom and flexibility throughout U.S. education. 
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