Clinton Opposes School Choice For Nevada Students

- August 4, 2016

Clinton Chooses Union Votes Over Children


  • Last year, Nevada's Governor Brian Sandoval signed a bill giving students and parents greater school choice through education savings accounts.
  • Even though nearly 8,000 Nevada students have already applied to the program, teachers unions oppose greater school choice out of fear of competition and losing power.
  • Clinton has sought to win over teachers unions in this election by taking a hard line anti-school choice position.
  • Throughout her career, Hillary Clinton has been a staunch opponent of choice for students and parents, vowing to fight them "every breath" in her body and ridiculously claiming school choice will lead to a taxpayer funded "school of the jihad."
  • Clinton repeatedly voted with school choice opponents and teachers unions while in the Senate, including voting against D.C.'s school choice program.
  • Last year, Clinton also caved to teachers unions on charter schools after being a supporter of charters "since the 1990s," making statements "straight from charter school critics' playbook."


Today, Clinton Will Campaign In Nevada. "During her Las Vegas visit, Clinton will visit a local business and then host a rally at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 357 Hall, 808 N. Lamb Blvd., at 11:45 a.m. Thursday." ("Hillary Clinton To Rally At Las Vegas Union Hall Thursday," Las Vegas Review-Journal, 7/31/16)


Last Year, Gov. Brian Sandoval (R-NV) Championed An Education Reform Bill That Would Give Parents And Students More Choice In Their Education

In June 2015, Gov. Sandoval Signed Historic School Choice Legislation Providing Students With Education Savings Accounts. "Nevada's governor signed a measure Tuesday offering education savings accounts that will allow most students to apply state funds to private schools or other services in the state, the latest move by states to expand alternatives to traditional public schooling." ("Sandoval Signs Sweeping Education Savings Account Bill," The Associated Press, 6/2/15)

  • The Bill Provides Students With A Grant "Equal To 90 Percent Of Their Per-Pupil State Funding" To Be Used In An Education Savings Account For "Tuition, Textbooks, And Tutoring." "The bill is sponsored by Republican Sen. Scott Hammond and allows students a grant equal to 90 percent of their per-pupil state funding allotment. Students could use the state money deposited in the education savings account for tuition, textbooks and tutoring." ("Sandoval Signs Sweeping Education Savings Account Bill," The Associated Press, 6/2/15)
  • The Accounts Empowers Parents "To Use The Funds For Different Types Of Services" Rather Than Send Them "Directly To A Private School." "The accounts differ from school-voucher programs available in other states by allowing parents to use the funds for different types of services to create a specialized program depending on the student, rather than sending the funds directly to a private school." (Caroline Porter, "Nevada Expands School Choice With Adoption Of Savings Accounts," The Wall Street Journal, 6/3/15)

The Nevada Policy Research Institute's Chantal Lovell: "Thanks To This New Program, Every Child - Regardless Of Family Income - Now Has The Freedom To Leave A Failing Nevada Public School And Attend One That Is Exceptional." (Chantal Lovell, Opinion, "Busting Myths About Nevada's Groundbreaking Education Savings Accounts,"Las Vegas Review-Journal , 7/18/16)

Las Vegas Review-Journal Columnist Glenn Cook: ESAs Give Parents Control, Flexibility, And Choice In Bettering Their Children's Educational Futures. "ESAs will allow parents to withdraw their children from public schools, gain control of the state tax revenue that funded their enrollment and spend that money on an educational program of their choice. The money can be used to support home schooling, pay private school tuition, fund tutoring or other special instruction or therapy, and buy technology. Parents can save what they don't spend for educational costs in future years. And because parents have control of the funding, not the state, ESAs can be used to pay for tuition at religious schools." (Glenn Cook, Opinion, "ESAs Can Cover Private School Tuition," Las Vegas Review-Journal, 6/14/16)

  • There Is Massive Interest In The Program And The State Treasurer's Office Has Already Received Nearly 8,000 Applications For Early Enrollment. "The state treasurer's office, which SB302 charges with implementing the program, already has received nearly 8,000 applications for early enrollment." (Neal Morton, "State Supreme Court Hearings On School Choice Likely To Resonate Nationwide," Las Vegas Review-Journal , 7/27/16)

Opposition To Nevada's Law Comes Largely From Teacher Unions

The Nevada State Education Association (NSEA) Endorsed Clinton In The Democrat Primary In January. "The NSEA is endorsing Hillary Clinton because of her lifetime commitment to our students and the educators who shape their lives. Our state will play the critical role in deciding the Democratic nominee, and in a close race, the NSEA could make the difference for Hillary." ("Nevada Educators For Hillary," Nevada State Education Association, Accessed 8/3/16)

  • The NSEA Is The State Affiliate Of The National Education Association (NEA). "The Nevada State Education Association, the NEA's state affiliate, represents more than 28,000 members." (Press Release, "Following Key Nevada Win, Educators For Hillary Roll Up Sleeves And Get Back To Work," National Education Association, 2/20/16)

NSEA President Reuben Murrillo Has Criticized Nevada's Education Savings Account Bill. "Not surprisingly, Smith's arguments for both better oversight and more resources for poorer students resonate with points made by the law's critics on the left of center, including teacher unions. 'This gives a carte blanche to any resident to take their kids to private schools, and it could devastate programs that are providing innovative programs for inner city schools and high-poverty schools,' Nevada Education Association President Reuben Murillo Jr. told the Deseret News after the law was passed last year, calling the vouchers a way for wealthy families to 'supplement their income.'" (Eric Schulzke, "This Controversial Law Could Help Schools In Nevada Struggling With Growth Booms," Deseret News , 4/30/16)

  • The ESA Law Reduces The Power Of Teacher Unions. "Expansion of choice also reduces unionized teaching jobs and weakens the power of teacher unions. Ten million students outside the traditional public school system adds up to more than 600,000 teaching jobs and hundreds of thousands of support positions." (Paul Toner, "Public Schools Can Fight ESAs By Being More Accountable," Las Vegas Review-Journal, 7/21/16)
  • Teachers Unions' Opposition To School Choice "Is Rooted In Fear Of Competition." "Opposition to ESAs is rooted in fear of competition. More competition is coming. The state created a fund to recruit proven charter schools to low-income areas, and the state soon will take over persistently underperforming schools and hand them over to charters." (Glenn Cook, "ESAs Can Cover Private School Tuition," Las Vegas Review-Journal, 6/14/16)

The Nevada State Education Association Applauded A Judge's Decision To Grant A Preliminary Injunction Blocking The Implementation Of ESAs. " 'Monday, January 11 a Carson City District Judge granted a preliminary injunction ordering the state treasurer office to stop the implementation of Education Savings Accounts. NSEA filed an amicus brief in support of the lawsuit filed on behalf of parents in Reno and Las Vegas challenging Education Savings Accounts. This court ruling is an important first step in keeping critically strained resources in our most at-risk public schools and not diverting them to private schools,' said NSEA President Ruben Murillo, Jr." ("Ruling On ESAs Keeps Money In Public Schools," Nevada State Education Association, Accessed 7/31/16)

On The Campaign Trail, Clinton Has Touted Her Anti-School Choice Stance To Win Over Teachers Unions

In A July 2015 American Federation Of Teachers Candidate Questionnaire, Clinton Said She "Strongly" Opposed School Vouchers. CLINTON: "I strongly oppose voucher schemes because they divert precious resources away from financially strapped public schools to private schools that are not subject to the same accountability standards or teacher quality standards. It would be harmful to our democracy if we dismantled our public school system through vouchers, and there is no evidence that doing so would improve outcomes for children." ("Candidate Questionnaire: Hillary Rodham Clinton," American Federation Of Teachers, 7/17/15)

During A July 2016 Address To The National Education Association, Clinton Was Cheered By The Teachers Unions' Members When She Attacked For-Profit Charter Schools. "The presidential hopeful won back the crowd by making a distinction between charter schools in general, and those schools run by for-profit companies. Clinton said people on the outside are pushing 'for-profit charter schools on our kids.' 'We will never stand for that. That is not acceptable,' Clinton said to cheers." (Kimberly Hefling, "Clinton's Charter School Comments Prompt Boos At Teachers Union Event," Politico, 7/5/16)

In November 2015, Clinton Stated That "Most Charter Schools…Don't Take The Hardest-To-Teach Kids," Echoing A Line Used By Charter School Opponents. CLINTON: "And here's a couple of problems. Most charter schools - I don't want to say every one - but most charter schools, they don't take the hardest-to-teach kids, or, if they do, they don't keep them. And so the public schools are often in a no-win situation, because they do, thankfully, take everybody, and then they don't get the resources or the help and support that they need to be able to take care of every child's education." (Hillary Clinton, Remarks At The Legislative Black Caucus Town Hall , Orangeburg, SC, 11/7/15)

Click To Watch

  • Politico Headline: "Hillary Clinton Rebukes Charter Schools" (Kimberly Hefling, "Hillary Clinton Rebukes Charter Schools," Politico, 11/9/15)

Clinton's 2016 Rhetoric Sounds "Less Like A Decades-Long Supporter Of Charter Schools" And More Like "A Teachers Union President" As She Criticized Charter Schools. "Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sounded less like a decades-long supporter of charter schools over the weekend and more like a teachers union president when she argued that most of these schools 'don't take the hardest-to-teach kids, or, if they do, they don't keep them.' Her comments in South Carolina came straight from charter school critics' playbook and distanced her from the legacies of her husband, former President Bill Clinton - credited with creating a federal stream of money to launch charters around the country - and President Barack Obama, whose administration has dangled federal incentives to push states to become more charter friendly." (Kimberly Hefling, "Hillary Clinton Rebukes Charter Schools," Politico, 11/9/15)

  • "Her Comments In South Carolina Came Straight From Charter School Critics' Playbook." (Kimberly Hefling, "Hillary Clinton Rebukes Charter Schools," Politico, 11/9/15)

Clinton Has "Won Endorsements From The Country's Two Major Teachers Unions," The American Federation Of Teachers (AFT) And The National Education Association (NEA). "Clinton won endorsements from the country's two major teachers unions over the objections of some rank-and-file members who questioned her education priorities, including her long history of support for charter schools. The backing of the AFT and especially the 3-million-strong National Education Association - the nation's largest union - gave her a welcome boost ahead of the Democrats' first debate, as Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders was gaining momentum and Vice President Joe Biden was seriously considering a run." (Kimberly Hefling, "Hillary Clinton Rebukes Charter Schools," Politico, 11/9/15)

  • The NEA And AFT Are Amongst The Clintons' Biggest Donors, Contributing At Least A Combined $3 Million To The Clintons. "Today, the two major national teachers' unions rank among the Clintons' biggest supporters. The National Education Association has contributed at least $1.3 million to bolster their races, while the American Federation of Teachers has given more than $756,000 to support them politically and at least $1 million to their foundation." (Matea Gold, Tom Hamburger, and Anu Narayanswamy, "Two Clintons. 41 Years. $3 Billion," The Washington Post, 11/19/15)


Throughout Her Career, Clinton Has Opposed School Choice And School Vouchers

In 2007, Clinton Vowed To "Fight School Vouchers" With "Every Breath In My Body." "[Clinton] was answering a question about charter schools, but after saying she had 'always supported public school choice,' she segued quickly to a denunciation of vouchers that drew thunderous applause from the crowd. The question of providing parents with public funds that can be used for private schools has long been a political flashpoint, with many Republicans advocating them as an opportunity for increased choice, while Democrats see them as an abandonment of public schools. Mrs. Clinton said she would 'fight them with every breath in my body.'" (Russell Berman, "Senator Clinton Stands By Charter Schools," New York Sun, 7/3/07)

  • Clinton Told The National Education Association That Vouchers "Would Mean The End Of The Public School System." "'Vouchers would mean the end of the public school system and I believe an erosion of our democracy that we would regret deeply. Take them off the table,' Mrs. Clinton told thousands of educators at the annual gathering of the National Education Association's Representative Assembly, held yesterday at the Philadelphia Convention Center." (Russell Berman, "Senator Clinton Stands By Charter Schools," New York Sun, 7/3/07)

In 2006, Clinton Attacked School Vouchers Claiming They Would Lead To "The Creation Of Taxpayer-Financed White Supremacist Academies - Or Even A Government-Funded 'School Of The Jihad.'" "Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton slammed private-school voucher proposals yesterday, predicting that vouchers would eventually lead to the creation of taxpayer-financed white supremacist academies - or even a government-funded 'school of the jihad.'" (Glenn Thrush, "Clinton Raps Vouchers," [New York] Newsday, 2/22/06)

  • Clinton: "So What If The Next Parent Comes And Says, 'I Want To Send My Child To The School Of The Jihad? ... I Won't Stand For It." "As an adoring, if somewhat puzzled, audience of Bronx activists looked on, Clinton added, 'So what if the next parent comes and says, 'I want to send my child to the School of the Jihad? ... I won't stand for it.'" (Glenn Thrush, "Clinton Raps Vouchers," [New York] Newsday, 2/22/06)

In January 2001, Clinton Claimed Vouchers "Segregate" Our Public Schools. "'It sounds so good,' said Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Democrat of New York, 'but it has a number of serious flaws that doom it. Experiments have demonstrated absolutely no evidence that vouchers help improve student achievement. 'Secondly, we know that vouchers do not help the students who need the help the most. They do nothing to help improve public schools. Vouchers only further segregate and stratify our public schools.'" (Lizette Alvarez, "Senate Rejects Tuition Aid, A Key To Bush Education Plan,"The New York Times, 6/13/01)

In 1998, Clinton Said That Vouchers "Separate People Out," "Siphon Off Much Needed Resources," And Weaken School Systems. CLINTON: "The President believes, as I do, that charter schools are a way of bringing teachers and parents and communities together - instead of other efforts - like vouchers - which separate people out - siphon off much needed resources; and weakening the school systems that desperately need to be strengthened." (First Lady Hillary Clinton, Remarks At A Charter School Meeting, Washington, DC, 8/4/98)

As A Senator, Clinton Consistently Voted Against School Choice

In 2004, Clinton Voted Against Legislation That Authorized The Secretary Of Education To Award Five Year Grants To Low-Income Children In Washington, D.C. To Help Provide School Choice Opportunities . "DC School Choice Incentive Act of 2003 - (Sec. 304) Requires the Secretary of Education to award five-year grants on a competitive basis to educational entities of the District government, nonprofit organizations, and consortia of nonprofit organizations (eligible entities) with approved applications to carry out activities to provide expanded school choice opportunities to students who are DC residents and who come from households with incomes not exceeding 185 percent of the poverty line (eligible students)." (H.R. 2673, Roll Call Vote #3: Passed 65-28: R 44-4; D 21-23; I 0-1, 1/22/04, Clinton Voted Nay)

  • 21 Democrat Senators Voted In Favor Of The D.C. Voucher Program, Including Sens. Harry Reid (D-NV), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Dick Durbin (D-NY), And Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). (H.R. 2673, Roll Call Vote #3: Passed 65-28: R 44-4; D 21-23; I 0-1, 1/22/04, Clinton Voted Nay)

In 2001, Clinton Voted Against Tax Credits For Private School Tuition. "To eliminate expenditures for tuition, fees, and room and board as qualified elementary and secondary education expenses for distributions made from education individual retirement accounts." (S.Amdt. 711 To H.R. 1836, Roll Call Vote #136: 41-58: R 2-47; D 39-11, 5/22/01, Clinton Voted Yea)

In 2001, Clinton Voted Against An Amendment Submitted By Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) That Would Have Created A Voucher Demonstration Program In 10 Low-Income School Districts. "To provide a low-income school choice demonstration program." (S.Amdt. 536 To S.Amdt. 358 To S. 1, Roll Call Vote #179: Rejected 41-58: R 38-11; D 3-46; I 0-1, 6/12/01, Clinton Voted Nay)


Clinton Had Been A Supporter Of Charter Schools "Since The 1990s." "Every [sic] since the 1990s, Clinton has expressed support for charter schools, but in Saturday's remarks, she said something that is likely to irritate her supporters within the Democratic Party who are avid backers of charter schools as a principal means of reforming public education: that most charters don't accept those students who are the most difficult to educate, or, if they do, they 'don't keep them.'" (Valerie Strauss, "Hillary Clinton: 'Most Charter Schools 'Don't Take The Hardest-To-Teach Kids, Or, If They Do, They Don't Keep Them,'" The Washington Post , 11/8/15)

When Asked About Ways To Improve Education At A June 2012 Town Hall In Latvia, Then-Secretary Of State Clinton Emphasized The U.S. Focus On Charter Schools. CLINTON: "So here are some things we're trying in the United States, for your consideration. We are emphasizing what are called charter schools or magnet schools. Now, what are they? Well, we want to get more kids excited by what they're learning, and we want frankly to get more of their parents involved in education so that they support their kids when they're studying. So we have specialty schools, like if you're really interested in math and science, you might be able to go to a math and science magnet; if you're interested in the creative arts - you're a dancer, you're a singer, which all of you are, or an artist in some other way - you would go to a magnet school for that; or if you just want a different mode of studying - you want smaller class size, you want open classrooms. I mean, there's just all kinds of educational ideas out there." (Secretary Hillary Clinton, Remarks At A Townterview With Latvian Youth, Riga, Latvia, 6/28/12)

Click To Watch

While Running For President In 2008, Clinton Supported Charter Schools. "This year, Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama and former Gov. Bill Richardson, candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination, have all voiced support for quality charters. So have a few teachers' union officials." (Sam Dillon, "Ohio Goes After Charter Schools That Are Failing," The New York Times, 11/8/07)

In A 1999 Speech To The National Education Association, Clinton Encouraged The Union To "Continue To Stand Behind The Charter School Movement." CLINTON: "I also hope that you will continue to stand behind the charter school/public school movement, because I believe that parents do deserve greater choice within the public school system to meet the unique needs of their children." (First Lady Hillary Clinton, Remarks To The National Education Association, Orlando, FL, 7/5/99)

In 1998, Clinton Said That She Believed That "Charter Schools Are A Way Of Bringing Teachers And Parents And Communities Together." CLINTON: "We're here because we believe that charter school can play a significant part in revitalizing and strengthening public schools today - by offering greater flexibility from bureaucratic rules, so that parents, teachers, and the community can design and run their own schools, and focus on setting goals and getting results. As you know, this Administration, and, particularly the President, are deeply committed to improving public education and has been fighting for that ever since he arrived here in the White House. The President wants to expand public charter schools that are open to everyone; that are non-sectarian; that are accountable for results; that provide real choices to parents and students. The President believes, as I do, that charter schools are a way of bringing teachers and parents and communities together." (First Lady Hillary Clinton, Remarks At A Charter School Meeting, Washington, DC, 8/4/98)

In September 1997, Clinton Said Charter Schools "Should Be Seen As A Liberation Of Public Schools." "First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton weighed in on the issue, saying charter schools have been effective in educating children ill-served by standard schools. 'The charter school movement should not be seen as a threat to public schools. They should be seen as a liberation of public schools,' she said." (Sonya Ross, "Clinton Threatens Veto Of Education Bill That Excludes Testing," The Associated Press , 9/20/97)

In Her 1996 Book, It Takes A Village, Clinton Lauded Charter Schools As A Way To "Break Through Bureaucratic Attitudes." "In her 1996 book 'It Takes a Village,' Clinton endorsed charters as just the kind of innovation that could overcome stifling bureaucracy and return control to parents and teachers. 'I favor promoting choice among public schools, much as the President's Charter Schools Initiative encourages,' she wrote. 'Federal funding is needed to break through bureaucratic attitudes that block change and frustrate students and parents, driving some to leave public schools.'" (Kimberly Hefling, "Hillary Clinton Rebukes Charter Schools," Politico, 11/9/15)

In 1993, Clinton "Publicly Applauded" Charters While Then-President Bill Clinton Created Policies That Expanded Charter Schools. "When Bill Clinton took office in 1993, there was a lone charter school in Minnesota, according to advocates. He helped create a grant program that provides seed money to open charters, providing hundreds of millions of dollars over the years and paving the way for thousands to open. As first lady, Hillary Clinton publicly applauded the program." (Kimberly Hefling, "Hillary Clinton Rebukes Charter Schools," Politico, 11/9/15)

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