Ann Romney wants to get rid of teachers unions and public education. Seriously. These are the issues that she told Good Housekeeping magazine were “closest to her heart”, emphasis mine:
GH: Can you tell me, what campaign issue is closest to your heart?
AR: I've been a First Lady of the State. I have seen what happens to people's lives if they don't get a proper education. And we know the answers to that. The charter schools have provided the answers. The teachers' unions are preventing those things from happening, from bringing real change to our educational system. We need to throw out the system.
Republicans are big on privatizing public education for a very simple reason. They own, and/or are invested in charter schools, And they hate the unions.
If Ann Romney were to become the FLOTUS, it will be the first time in the history of this country that we’ve ever had a first lady who wanted to destroy our system of public education rather than enhance it.
What’s been happening in Wisconsin, Florida, and other states tells us just how much the Republicans want to tear down our system of education. In an article published by The Progressive magazine in 2011, Ruth Conniff on the Republican assault on public education:
Wisconsin is on the leading edge of a national assault on public education. Walker made a big name for himself with his explosive move to bust public employee unions and take away teachers’ bargaining rights. Now comes the next phase.
“We’ve been hearing about this for years now,” says Democratic state representative Sondy Pope-Roberts. “I see Wisconsin as the first domino in a line. As this falls, I see other states hoping to achieve our quote-unquote success . . . by crushing unions and taking public schools private.”
Wisconsin has long had a strong public school system. But the conservative Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee has also been a national incubator for vouchers and other school privatization efforts.
“We started by being the first state to have a voucher school, in Milwaukee,” Pope-Roberts says. “Now we will be the first state to . . . basically create charter school districts.”
Instead of being approved by local school boards, under S.B. 22 these charters would be overseen by a nine-member board appointed by the governor and leaders of the legislature.
The bill would encourage the rapid expansion of virtual charters, which would receive the same per-pupil tax dollars as bricks-and-mortar schools, and could enroll students all over the state.
Walker’s other proposals include lifting the income cap for vouchers, so wealthy families could receive public funds to send their kids to private schools.
Conniff believes that the war on education is motivated by a desire to “drown government in a bathtub”:
The war on public schools is part of the conservative dream to “get government down to the size where you can drown it in the bathtub,” as conservative guru Grover Norquist so memorably put it.
This is where we differ. If you follow the money behind the charter schools in various areas, you’ll see that they are owned by either Republicans or Republican think tanks. It is, in my opinion, primarily about the money.