Union Boss Gives Finger to America’s Poor Children

There’s always some dustup over the Half-Time Show at the Super Bowl. This year it was the British female rapper M.I.A. (real name Mathangi Arulpragasam) who gave the finger to tens of millions of Americans. You don’t need to be a lip reader to know that she also said right to the camera “I don’t give a s**t.”

While distasteful and coarse, her obscene gesture did not cost me a penny or limit my freedom. If you really want to experience an obscene gesture, then listen to what New Jersey Education Association Executive Director Vincent Giordano said about poor children and vouchers. Teacher unions have always been against vouchers. The voucher program was shut down in Washington, D.C., after five years because of teacher union pressure. Poor Blacks were the biggest victims.

In addition to being against vouchers, a standard union objection, it was Giordano’s cavalier attitude about the poor that caught people’s attention:

Host: The issue of fairness, I mean this is the argument that a lot of voucher supporters make. People who are well off have options. Somebody who is not well off and whose child is in a failing school, why shouldn’t those parents have the same options to get the kid out of the failing school and into one that works with the help of the state?

Vincent Giordano: Those parents should have exactly the same options and they do. We don’t say you can’t take your kid out of the public school. We would argue not and we would say ‘let’s work more closely and more harmoniously’ …

Host: They can’t afford to pay, you know that. Some of these parents can’t afford to take their child out of these schools.

Giordano:  Life’s not always fair and I’m sorry about that.

Life isn’t fair. The government confiscates money from property owners, whether they have children or not, and uses their money to fund the education of other people’s children. Property owners will continue to pay the education tax until the day they die.

By the way, Mr. Giordano is paid more than $300,000 a year.

Jonathan S. Tobin, writing for Commentary, identifies the blatant hypocrisy of the Left:

[Giordano] like all teachers union officials, he is ready to fight to the death to prevent school choice plans that would allow parents to use the money the state allocates to educate their kids to purchase better education than is often provided in failing public schools. But perhaps it is unfair to single out Giordano as he is no more of a hypocrite on this matter than President Obama.

Obama, it should be recalled, did his best to end a successful experiment in school choice in the District of Columbia that allowed some poor children to escape the collapsing D.C. public education system and go to elite private schools like the Sidwell Friends School. Of course, Sidwell happens to be good enough for the president’s two daughters but not for the poor.

The Clintons sent their daughter to Sidwell Friends. Hillary argued that “if [Chelsea] were to go to a public school, the press would never leave her alone.” The Carters, to their credit, sent their daughter Amy to a D.C. public school. The press didn’t seem to be a factor.