Teachers Unions Oppose Diversity, Equity, Fairness, and Autonomy
With religious fervor, leftists faux-genuflect at the altar of diversity and equity. They also blather on about autonomy and fairness. But Americans not yet besotted by the Great Awokening know the words of woke leftists are hollow “performative speech acts” exploited to mask selfishness. Evidence of their hypocrisy is hiding in plain sight in any cultural arena that touches on the mis-education of future activists.
For example, look at how leftists view the Illinois scholarship program titled the Invest in Kids Act which offers tax credits to incentivize taxpayers to donate to the program, thereby enabling children to escape failing schools.
Begun under former Governor Bruce Rauner in 2017, “This Act allows income tax credits for taxpayers who make authorized contributions to a Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO). The SGOs, in turn, provide scholarships for eligible Illinois students to attend qualified, non-public schools in Illinois.”
Qualified non-public schools include religious schools and technical academies.
According to WBEZ Chicago,
Under the Invest In Kids Act, taxpayers can donate to designated scholarship granting organizations around the state in exchange for a 75% income tax credit, capped at $75 million. Students from households making no more than 300% of the federal poverty level can apply. That’s $90,000 a year for a family of four. This school year, about two-thirds of scholarship recipients came from families earning no more than 185% of the federal poverty level. Scholarship organizations say the program is meant to serve lower income students of color.
In a Chicago Tribune commentary, Anita Andrews-Hutchinson, “co-founder of Village Leadership Academy and It Takes A Village Family of Schools, which serve mostly African American and Latino children on the Near South and West sides of Chicago,” writes about the wildly popular scholarship program aimed at children in impoverished communities:
Nearly 40,000 scholarships have been awarded to K-12 students across the state. … Currently, there are more than 26,000 children on the waitlist for scholarships across the state.
One would expect every Illinoisan of every political stripe—especially leftist educators committed to diversity, equity, autonomy, and fairness—to love a program that enables economically challenged families to access diverse educational options from which to choose in accordance with their beliefs, values, and goals #autonomy.
This program offers a modicum of the autonomy that wealthy parents like, for example, the Obamas had. And yet, teachers unions hate the Invest in Kids program. They hate it because it “takes money away from public schools” and because many parents are using their scholarships to attend religious schools that adhere to biblical principles on sexuality.
In other words, leftist teachers like Kathi Griffin, president of the Illinois Education Association, want to discriminate based on religion in the disbursement of public money.
Calling Invest in Kids a “scheme,” Griffin self-righteously proclaimed,
I contribute to causes, to my church, to different things that I think are important to me, not so that I can get three-quarters of that back and a tax scholarship. I give that because that’s what a donation is.
Good for her, but many people are incentivized by tax credits to donate to all sorts of philanthropic causes.
In the WBEZ article, a parent who benefited from the Invest in Kids Act pointed out the irony “that tax credits aren’t new; film productions that come to Illinois can get a 30% break.” Does Griffin oppose those tax credits?
Since Griffin unselfishly gives out of the goodness of her heart, expecting nothing in return, why does she oppose a program that gives hope to thousands of oppressed parents who know that public schools offer a bleak future for their children?
If members of teachers unions genuinely cared about the intellectual development of students, they would be deeply thankful for a program that enables impoverished children to escape crime-ridden schools that graduate illiterate students.
If members of teachers unions cared more about diversity, equity, autonomy, and fairness than they do about their power, privilege, pensions, salaries, and vacation days, they would be celebrating the Invest in Kids Act rather than trying to dismantle it.
The Invest in Kids Act is due to expire, but lawmakers in Springfield have an opportunity to renew it or even make it permanent. Since this program has bipartisan support among Illinoisans, lawmakers also have an opportunity to unite a sorely divided Illinois. Let’s encourage them to do the right thing.