A Democratic legislator in Georgia is taking heat for opposing school choice because some parents in the state “did not finish high school.”
“I see parents being able to direct their child’s education, and they’re already in the lower 25 percentile,” state Rep. Lydia Glaize, D-Fairburn, warned an education subcommittee about parental control over where their kids go to school.
“A lot of those parents did not finish high school,” Glaize added, according to Fox News.
Glaize was commenting on the Georgia Promise Scholarship Act, which would give a $6,000 scholarship to students stuck in failing schools, those receiving a “D” or an “F” in annual statewide assessments.
That would include students in the bottom 25% of schools ranked by the assessments.
Of the 1.74 million students enrolled in Georgia schools, 400,000 would be eligible for a scholarship, although the funding need for all students wouldn’t be available, according to data supplied by The Brunswick News.
Lack of parental qualifications to make choices has been one of the persistent underlying criticism by leftist lobbyists about parental involvement in education, as public school systems across the country continue to be rocked by reforms that put more decisions in the hands of moms and dads.
The school reform movement gained traction in 2021 when then-candidate Glenn Youngkin made parental choice one of the cornerstones of his successful election campaign as governor of Virginia.
The Washington Post, at the time, ran an editorial co-written by a professor of education at the University of Massachusetts, who wrote, “Parents claim they have the right to shape their kids’ school curriculum. They don’t.”
Then later in the year, NBC News was criticized for pushing an op-ed that claimed parents couldn’t make decisions about stopping divisive political issues being taught in the classroom because they lacked advanced degrees.
“Unless they’re licensed and certified, parents aren’t qualified to make decisions about curricula,” wrote teacher Christina Wyman, who first listed off her advanced education, including a Ph.D.
The comments were seen as an attempt by the liberal media to help cover for the debate blunder made by Youngkin’s opponent, former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, when he declared: “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”
Similarly, Glaize keyed in on her qualifications as an “educator” to claim that ordinary parents don’t know how to make decisions about where kids should go to school.
“I’d like to offer just some friendly advice, too.” she said. “As an educator, I helped start the first charter school in Fulton County, I’ve been a homeschooler and I worked in private education. The majority of our metro school districts would not be able to take advantage of this.”
Education reform advocate Corey DeAngelis took to Twitter to criticize Glaize.
“Georgia Rep. Lydia Glaize (D) says the QUIET PART OUT LOUD,” he wrote, before quoting her controversial remarks against parents’ qualifications, as well as her admission that all of her children benefited from a private education. “She sent all of her kids to private school yet oppose school choice for low-income families.”
For the record, Glaize graduated from Seton Hall with a B.S. in finance and general, not education, according to her LinkedIn profile.
So perhaps by her own standards, she wasn’t qualified to make any decisions on education for her own kids either.
Yet by her own admissions, she chose private, homeschooling and charter schools over the public school system, but doesn’t want others to have those same choices, claiming it’s because they are not as smart as she is.