Dr. Adam Schaeffer of the CATO institute addressed The Family Foundation's Day at the Capitol today on the issue of education choice. But it was his presentation to the House Education Committee earlier in the morning that was a bit of a surprise. It is very unusual for a presentation to be made to a committee that is not related to a specific piece of legislation that is before the committee. Dr. Schaeffer was asked to address the issue of school choice prior to any bills being considered. Rumor has it that members of the committee were angry at some of the actions of the VEA last year and this was a bit of payback.
Watching part of the team of lobbyists for the education association squirm while Dr. Schaeffer explained the success of school choice in other states and how giving freedom to families to choose the school of their choice will actually save the Commonwealth money was worth every minute of his presenation. You could see the scowls on their faces and watch them whisper to each other and shake their heads. The best part - they had no opportunity for rebuttle.
The fact is that school choice is coming to Virginia. If not this year, very soon. Public support is growing. Public support in urban areas is growing fast. The VEA may hold the power today, but that is changing. Regardless of the VEA's squirming in class today.