Cantor Vows Continued Defense of School Choice Programs


House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.) pledged that he would continue to protect and promote school choice programs on Wednesday.

Cantor said during a speech at the Brookings Institution that Republicans would continue to defend the growth of charter schools and voucher programs from politicians such as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio seeking to block them.

"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."

Cantor praised the success that various school choice programs in states across the country, according to Politico Pro.

Cantor cited a student he met in Philadelphia who he said "has finally been given a chance to pursue his dreams" because he could attend a charter school. The charter school he cited is failing on nearly every measure of academic achievement tallied by the state, and its graduating seniors post very low ACT and SAT scores. Yet Cantor noted that the school offers a "safe place to learn" and said it showed a "genuine commitment to empower each student with the tools necessary to succeed." [...]

Cantor also praised Louisiana’s voucher program — and renewed an attack on the Obama administration for first seeking to block and then demanding the right to closely monitor the program on the grounds that it might impede desegregation efforts in parts of the state.

"This kind of attack on an effective program that helps everyone — providing opportunity scholarships to kids of every background — is political payback to those who oppose school choice," Cantor said. "They see school choice as a threat. And they are right. School choice is a threat to the status quo."