In early January, 2014, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor told the Brookings Institution that Republicans will continue to defend the “education revolution” that is taking power from traditional public schools and giving it to the parents. Currently many states are giving parents tax-funded vouchers allowing them to choose their child’s education – from charter schools to parochial schools.
While the program is heavily supported by Republicans, many Democrats and teachers unions are against vouchers, saying they take away financial support for public schools, leaving parents and teachers out in the cold. Charter schools, which are publically financed but privately run, are supported by many Democrats like President Obama, although some see them as harmful to the current state of education.
Cantor was not afraid to call out newly-appointed New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is outspoken about limiting charter school growth in order to strengthen public education. De Blasio is looking to charge wealthy charter schools rent, who currently reside in the city for free, to bring money back into the public education system.
“Right now, school choice is under attack,” Cantor said. “It is up to us in this room and our allies across the nation to work for and fight for the families and students who will suffer the consequences if school choice is taken away.
“Our committees in the House will remain vigilant in their efforts to ensure no one from the government stands in the school house door between any child and a good education.”
De Blasio responded soon after, calling the Republican agenda a “dangerous philosophy that turns its back on public education… that has failed many times before.”