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No, Politico, Parents Are Not Going to Become Swing Voters

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File

Author Juan Perez Jr. wrote a piece for Politico’s “Weekly Education” newsletter in which he speculated that parents could become the “new swing voters.” It was an interesting piece discussing the fact that education has risen in the ranks of issues voters consider to be important. “The state of American education is a growing concern for voting parents this year, and that offers a potential edge to candidates hoping to appeal across partisan lines in November,” he writes.

Perez referred to the findings of a Harris poll released on Tuesday on behalf of the National Alliance for Public Charter schools. It showed that 83 percent of parents said education is an important issue for them. This was especially true among black parents and those who have children with special needs.

The author noted that education issues “traditionally take a backseat to economic and healthcare-related issues, particularly in federal races.” However, the recent survey reveals that parents, in particular, have grown increasingly concerned about what their children are learning in public schools. Even further, the study demonstrated that parents are even more willing to support candidates outside of their party. Researchers surmised that education might just become a “single voter issue” among parents despite their political affiliation, meaning that both parties would be wise to craft a winning message on the issue. “The education voter is the new swing voter,” said Nina Rees, president, and CEO of the charter organization.

Perez then referred to a conversation between Josiah Gaiter, deputy director at Freedomworks, a conservative advocacy group, and former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. He asked the former secretary how conservatives might employ effective messaging on the education issue. DeVos responded by pointing out that they could stand “for empowering families with education freedom,” and promoting school choice policy.

“We can be for families by saying we trust parents to make the best and right decisions for their kids,” DeVos continued. “They know their kids the best, and we all know anybody who’s a parent or a grandparent knows that kids are different and they learn differently. Yet we continue to perpetuate a system and an approach that really puts them all in a box to a large extent.”

This argument, in a nutshell, is why Democrats will continue losing on the education issue, which repudiates the notion that parents concerned about education will become swing voters. The left continues to insist on pushing programs and policies designed to put children at the mercy of public schools without the involvement of their parents, which isn’t exactly a winning position these days.

Despite the denials coming from the left, school districts are actively inculcating their students with so-called progressive ideology in K-12 classrooms. They are infusing far-leftist ideas on race, gender, and sexuality into the curriculum. In many cases, this is happening without parents’ knowledge or consent. Indeed, in many states like California, they are able to find ways to introduce these ideas in a way that does not require them to solicit parents’ permission.

Even worse, many school districts encourage – or even require – educators and school staff to help children transition to different genders without informing their parents. They mandate that teachers affirm the new gender choices these kids are making. I recently wrote a story about a Colorado teacher who reached out to me to tell me how he was disciplined for just sending a link to a student who wished to transition that led to content discussing how many transgender individuals regret transitioning to the opposite gender. This is happening in schools across the nation and parents are not believing progressives when they lie about it.

But even further, school choice has become more of a priority for parents concerned about what their kids are being taught. In various states, they are fighting for the right to choose where and how their children are educated. Indeed, Republicans who have opposed school choice have already faced the consequences of their actions and more will follow.

During his speech at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s “Road to Majority 2022” conference, former President Donald Trump urged the GOP to become “the party of parental rights.” He rightly noted that this is how Republicans can – and will – win on the education issue all day long. If the Republican Party takes notice, parents will never become swing voters – they will become loyal Republican voters because Democrats have demonstrated they are not interested in listening to their concerns.