NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

School-Choice Double Standard on Capitol Hill

June 14, 2002

Many senators and representatives who oppose school-choice for other people send their own children to private schools, a new study by the Heritage Foundation points out.

From a survey of members of Congress, Heritage researchers found:

  • In the House, 69 of 273 members who last year voted against legislation allowing children in low-performing and dangerous schools to attend a school of choice send or have sent their children to private schools last year.
  • On the Senate side, 13 of 58 senators who voted against an amendment that would fund a low-income school choice demonstration program send or have sent their children to private schools.
  • In addition, 43 percent of members of the House Ways and Means Committee and 32 percent of members of the House Education and the Workforce Committee who have children exercised private school choice last year.
  • Fully one-half of members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee who have children and 53 percent of those on the Senate Finance Committee who have children chose to send them to private schools.

Mark Levin, president of the Landmark Legal Foundation, called those who failed to practice what they preached "complete hypocrites."

Source: Ellen Sorokin, "Poor Parents Don't Get a Choice," Washington Times, June 14, 2002; Jennifer Garrett, "Another Look at How Members of Congress Exercise School Choice," Backgrounder No. 1553, May 22, 2002, Heritage Foundation.


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