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Clinton Shifts Left On Education Issues

- November 13, 2015

Clinton’s Recent Shift On Charter Schools “Mirrors Other Moves Clinton Has Made To Nail Down The Support Of Liberal Blocs In The Face Of The Progressive Challenge Of Bernie Sanders.” “The change in tone on charter schools mirrors other moves Clinton has made to nail down the support of liberal blocs in the face of the progressive challenge of Bernie Sanders, including her recent decision to oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership.” (Kimberly Hefling, “Hillary Clinton Rebukes Charter Schools,” Politico, 11/9/15)

Clinton Had Been A Supporter Of Charter Schools Since The 90s. “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)

  • 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)

Clinton Is Now Beholden To Unions When It Comes To Charter Schools

In Criticizing Charter Schools, “Clinton Sounded Less Like A Decades-Long Supporter Of Charter Schools” And “More Like A Teachers Union President.” “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)

Clinton Has “Won Endorsements From The Country’s Two Major Teachers Unions.” “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)

  • Teachers Unions Have Worked Against Charter Schools For Years, As They Worry About Losing Their Clout And Dues To Non-Union Schools. “Unions say they aren’t anti-charter but often attack the schools, a majority of which employ teachers who aren't unionized, accusing them of siphoning off money from traditional public schools.” (Kimberly Hefling, “Hillary Clinton Rebukes Charter Schools,” Politico, 11/9/15)

The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board: “Unions Loath Charter Competition, And Mrs. Clinton Is Returning The Favor Of These Early Endorsements.” “Why the sudden change? Her press assistant explained to Politico that ‘Hillary Clinton looks at the evidence. That’s what she did here.’ Sorry, that quote is from Randi Weingarten, president of the 1.6 million-member American Federation of Teachers that endorsed Mrs. Clinton in July, 16 months before Election Day. The National Education Association followed. Unions loathe charter competition, and Mrs. Clinton is returning the favor of these early endorsements.” (Editorial, “Clinton Turns Against Charters,” The Wall Street Journal, 11/11/15)

The Nation’s Two Major Teachers’ Unions 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)


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