Good For Me, But Not For Thee

by Robert Pondiscio
April 20th, 2009

A new survey by the conservative Heritage Foundation reveals 44 percent of Senators and 36 percent of Representatives sent their children to private school.  In addition, 20 percent of all House and Senate members attended private school themselves.  And it’s a bipartisan practice.

Private-school choice is a popular among both congressional Republicans and Democrats. Thirty-eight percent of House Republicans and 34 percent of House Democrats have ever sent their children to private school. In the Senate, 53 percent of Republicans and 37 percent of Democrats have exercised private-school choice for their children. Thirty five percent of Congressional Black Caucus Members have sent a child to private school. Only 6 percent of black students overall attend private school.

 In case you’ve forgotten why this matters, the editorial page editors of the Washington Post remind you.


  1. But let’s take this one step further in a way that these news stories rarely do…

    I wonder what the average tuition of these private schools is? I’m guessing something like $15,000 year or more? Are there voucher proposals at this level? There certainly aren’t in California, where most of the voucher advocates are also low-tax advocates.

    An ardent voucher advocate acquaintance of mine sends her kids to a private school with a tuition of over $20,000 per year. But when you ask her if that should be the voucher amount, she says “no, a school shouldn’t need more than about $8000 per year per student.” But then she goes back to telling us about the wonderful things her kids’ school does that you just don’t see in public schools…

    Comment by Rachel — April 20, 2009 @ 11:29 am

  2. So, 56% of Senators’ kids and almost 2/3rds of House kids go to Public school. And 80% of congresspeople went to Public school.

    Hmm. Now that’s a headline.

    Comment by Shelly — April 20, 2009 @ 11:57 am

  3. But a low-income family might be very well be able to cobble together enough financial aid and family resources to cover the difference between the voucher amount and the tuition. For example, the voucher might cover $8.5k, the school $5k, a church or other community organization $500 and the family $1200 (that’s only $100/mo). There’s your $15k/yr total.

    Comment by Crimson Wife — April 20, 2009 @ 12:21 pm

  4. The extra $200 is for incidental expenses BTW.

    Comment by Anonymous — April 20, 2009 @ 12:22 pm

  5. Ah yes, the unions. “Senate hearings on the program’s future are set for this spring, and opponents — chiefly school union officials — are pulling out all the stops as they lobby their Democratic allies.”

    As they extort their Democratic “allies” is more accurate. If you, Mr./Mrs. Congressperson, don’t do exactly what we tell you to do we’ll give you a poor rating on our report card of Congress. That means you probably won’t get our endorsement in your re-election attempt and you certainly won’t get the automatic Democratic financial backing offered to most Democrats in Congress who do as we tell them to do.

    I realize I’m naive to let this crap bother me, but it does anyway.

    Comment by Paul Hoss — April 20, 2009 @ 6:27 pm

  6. Speaking of “good for me, but not for thee,” or vice-versa, should private schools be required to follow national standards, if we get them?

    Comment by Tom Hoffman — April 21, 2009 @ 12:27 am

  7. Unless government money is going to fund a private school (as in a voucher program), the school should be free from government control over its curriculum. If parents are unhappy with the education their children receive at the school, they’ll simply enroll them elsewhere.

    Comment by Crimson Wife — April 21, 2009 @ 5:51 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

While the Core Knowledge Foundation wants to hear from readers of this blog, it reserves the right to not post comments online and to edit them for content and appropriateness.