Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

Tom Barrett’s kids are better than Milwaukee’s poor, urban minorities


Aaron Rodriguez asks a simple question, why are private schools okay for the Barrett children but not the children of poverty in Milwaukee?

“Choice students do not attend public schools, but property taxpayers still support their costs,” said Mayor Tom Barrett in an editorial for the Racine Journal Times. He’s right, choice students do not attend public schools, but then neither do Barrett’s children.

Despite being a “fierce advocate” for public education and having a spouse who teaches in public schools, Barrett sends his children to the same private schools that participate in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program.

In no way do I question the right of the Barrett family to pick the schools they think are best for their children. I merely note the contrast between the decisions he makes as a caring parent and his actions as a public figure.

Barrett’s campaign website says he is “one of the fiercest advocates for education” and in Congress he “fought for millions in funding for Wisconsin schools.” I won’t dispute Barrett’s advocacy for public schools, but his fierceness for education turns into namby-pamby when it involves helping parents who, like him, choose private schools for their children.

As a Congressman in 1997, Barrett voted against (HR 2746) that would have funded a choice program to give low-income families vouchers to attend private schools. Additionally, in 1998, Barrett voted against (HR 4380), which would have created a nonprofit corporation to administer vouchers for low-income children in the District of Columbia. Barrett’s fierceness for education did not include school voucher programs.

Perhaps Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett just thinks his kids shouldn’t have to go to school with the poor and minorities from Milwaukee.

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