NBC News criticizes school choice group over funding

, Spencer Irvine, Leave a comment

The mainstream media, ever in the grip of the left-wing teachers’ unions and education bureaucratic establishment, is going after school choice supporters.

NBC News recently published an article that portrayed the school choice movement as an anti-public education movement backed by wealthy conservative billionaires. Yet NBC News and the rest of the mainstream media does not treat teachers’ unions the same way.

The article treated the non-profit group, American Federation of Children, as an organization bankrolled by billionaires and the wealthy to impose their view on school choice and education alternatives on the country. AFC is backed by Betsy DeVos, the former Education Secretary under former President Donald Trump, and spent about $9 million in state-level elections in 2022. NBC News ran with the line of doom-and-gloom facing public schools because school choice candidates “are pushing a wave of legislation boosting DeVos’ longtime goal: subsidizing private schools with public dollars.”

AFC CEO, Tommy Schultz, said in a statement, “Especially after 2020 and the chaos created for parents by the teachers’ unions and the education establishment… Parents are now winning one of the most important domestic policy issues of our time: school choice.”

Other wealthy businesspeople are backing school choice candidates and legislation, such as co-owners of the NFL franchise Cleveland Browns Jimmy and Dee Haslam and Jim Walton, son of the Walmart founder.

One of the examples of an impending school choice success is in Iowa, where Gov. Kim Reynolds pushed school choice legislation. Also, the AFC apparently funded school choice candidates to the tune of $64,000 in one state race (but $254,000 overall in the 2022 election cycle). A lobbyist for Iowa’s teachers’ union told NBC News, “To see one entity dump that much money into the primary is unheard of.”

But the crux of the argument, as told by school choice backers, is that public schools have failed students for decades. In cities where teachers’ unions have significant sway and power, student achievement is far below what it should be. As Accuracy in Academia reported, the District of Columbia Public Schools saw its test scores for basic mathematics and reading skills dropped to the district’s lowest levels in five years. For example, only 31% of DCPS students can read at or above their grade level in 2022, which was a 6% decrease from 2019. For math skills, scores fell 12% from 31% to 19% from 2019 to 2022.

Similar results can be found in other major cities across the country.

Despite the school choice movement’s consistent rhetoric on providing education alternatives, NBC News did not acknowledge the emerging consensus that public schools are struggling and underperforming, in addition to legitimate concerns that teachers and administrators are politicizing the classroom and curriculum to promote LGBTQIA+ gender ideology. Neither did NBC News admit that parents are choosing private options, such as charter schools, homeschooling, or parochial schools, due to their dissatisfaction with the state of public schools. NBC News only could say that “[t]he nonprofit group has found success amid a 20-year low in approval for the K-12 education system and after two years of protests over lessons involving race and LGBTQ identity.”

Adding to that, the article did not address how left-wing teachers’ unions spend similar amounts of money on political races. For example, the California Teachers Association spent almost $3 million in the 2022 election cycle to elect pro-union candidates on school boards throughout the state, which is more than what AFC spent in Iowa on state-level races.