NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Heritage Survey: Congressmen Exercise School Choice

September 8, 1997

A higher percentage of members of Congress send their children to private schools than the general population, according to a survey by Heritage Foundation education analyst Nina Shokraii.

Shokraii surveyed members of Congress and received responses from nine of 10 House members and 77 Senators.

  • Of those responding, 34.4 percent of the Representatives and 50 percent of the Senators with school age or older kids have sent them to private schools.
  • Nationwide, only 14 percent of school age kids go to private schools; for black and Hispanic children, the portion is only 8 percent.
  • Yet the Heritage study shows that 32 percent of the Congressional Black Caucus and 44 percent of the Hispanic Caucus educate their children outside the public school system.

Analysts say the survey suggests the hypocrisy of some opponents of school vouchers. Vouchers would give even poor parents the ability to choose private alternatives to the public schools. The House passed a bill last year that would have set up a voucher program in the District of Columbia, but it was opposed by Senators who send their children to private schools.

Source: Editorial, "Sidwell Liberals," Wall Street Journal, Monday, September 8, 1997


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