Conservative columnist Chris Freind is taking heat for opposing the school choice bill recently introduced in the Pennsylvania Senate.
The bill, S.B. 1 , sponsored by Republican Jeff Piccola of the 15th District and Democrat Anthony H. Williams of the 8th District, which includes a large section of Delaware County, would, among other good things,
eventually allow the parents of any needy child in the state to take the
state subsidy — about $9,000 — that would have gone to their home
school district and apply to the public, private or parochial school of
This would, for many children, break the chains shackling them to incompetent cesspools of corruption falsely flying the flag of education, and save taxpayers from being forced to throw money into these rat holes.
Freind, however, wrote on his Philadelphia Magazine blog, Jan. 27 , that the bill is merely “legislation stuck in the past, once again pandering to the wrong crowd — the Black Caucus” and said it would be almost impossible to pass comparing it to the failed attempts to bring school choice to Pennsylvania in the 1990s.
He repeated the claims albeit a bit more gently, yesterday, on Philly.Com .
For this he is appropriately being taken to the woodshed by other conservative leaders. Tea Party activist Bob Guzzardi tells Freind and others who live in safe suburban school to re-read the fable of the Dog and The Manger in which the dog would not let the horse eat to the detriment of all.
Further, Guzzardi notes that there has been a “paradigm shift” among the coalitions that support the Pennsylvania Democrat Party. Black legislators such as LeAnna Washington who opposed vouchers during the Ridge years are now 100 percent behind them.
Vouchers would likely not have failed then with the support of Philadelphia Democrats.
In a response to Freind’s Inquirer column, Nathan Benefield of Commonwealth Foundation notes that he is dead wrong with the bill only benefiting the poor. Benefield points out that the bill almost doubles the amount of money available for Educational Improvement Tax Credit scholarships to $75 million. The eligibility for EITC scholarships is $60,000 plus $10,000 per child.
Still, Freind’s reaction brings to light one thing that will be done by defenders of the educrat establishment. The race card will be played.
But that’s nothing new. I have a strong recollection of a certain self-thought sophisticated, tolerant, sensitive suburban school superintendent slickly warning the parents of his district back in the ’90s that their high school will “have a great basketball team” if the choice plan wasn’t defeated.