Koch Brothers Flack Launches Attack On Teachers Unions

Fox so-called “news” brought on Koch-funded flack Corey DeAngelis to do an infomercial for vouchers and charter schools while launching yet another attack by the network on the teachers unions. Fox hates teachers unions because they support Democrats, and they love to help people from these Libertarian groups like DeAngelis to do everything they can to dismantle public education and funnel tax dollars away from public schools. This is something they’ve been doing forever that’s only gotten worse since COVID hit.

DeAngelis works for the American Federation for Children. Here’s more on them from Sourcewatch:

The American Federation for Children (AFC) is a conservative 501(c)(4) dark money group that promotes the school privatization agenda via the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and other avenues. It is the 501(c)(4) arm of the 501(c)(3) non-profit group the Alliance for School Choice.[1] The group was organized and is funded by the billionaire DeVos family, who are the heirs to the Amway fortune.[2] Former Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen, who was charged with multiple crimes stemming from abuse of his office, is on staff at AFC as Senior Advisor to its Government Affairs Team.[3]

AFC was founded in 1998 in Milwaukee as the American Education Reform Foundation. It was renamed Advocates for School Choice, Inc. in 2004 and moved to Phoenix, Arizona. It later moved its headquarters to Washington, D.C., and its name was changed to AFC in 2009. [4] American Federation for Children also evolved from the PAC “All Children Matter,” another DeVos enterprise which faded from prominence after being fined for violating campaign finance laws in both Ohio and Wisconsin.[2][5]

In the organization’s own words, AFC is “a leading national advocacy organization promoting school choice, with a specific focus on advocating for school vouchers and scholarship tax credit programs.”[6]

Here’s more from his bio at the CATO Institute:

Corey DeAngelis is a senior fellow at the American Federation for Children. He is also the executive director at Educational Freedom Institute, an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute, a senior fellow at Reason Foundation, and a board member at Liberty Justice Center. He was named on the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work on education policy and received the Buckley Award from America’s Future in 2020. He additionally received the Future 40 Award from Maverick PAC in 2021 and the OCPA Citizenship Award in 2022.

Hegseth brought on DeAngelis to discuss “national school choice week” (Who the hell knew there was such a thing?) and to discuss a tweet he posted, where he attacked the NEA and the Partnership for the Future of Learning for daring to point out who is harmed by school vouchers.

Here’s DeAngelis and Hegseth trying to spin the comments as somehow calling parents, and not the policy racist, and pretending the policies they’re pushing for won’t harm or destroy public education, along with making some not so thinly veiled threats against any Republicans who dare to oppose their policies as well:

HEGSETH: This week marking national school choice week, As 20 states said yes to expanding it last year, while a record number of parents are open to switching schools. Well, the nation’s largest teachers unions apparently not happy about this. As our next guest reveals, they’re reportedly backing an anti-school choice campaign arguing the program is rooted in racism.

Corey DeAngelis is a senior fellow at the American Federation for Children and joins us now. Corey, thanks for being here. No surprise that the NEA, the biggest teachers union, is going to fight back, because last year was a banner year for school choice. Now they’re trying to tell parents it’s bad, and you’re racist if you support it?

DEANGELIS: It’s a bold strategy. Let’s see if it works out for them. It’s not going to work out for them by just calling parents racist for wanting more of a say in their kids’ education. This really goes to show you that they have no logical capabilities at all.

These people are, they’re teaching millions of children all across the country, they’re unintentionally making the case for school choice. They’re providing free advertising for school choice during school choice week, which is absolutely glorious, actually.

Our momentum is going to continue because families aren’t going to be silenced into submission. They’re going to be emboldened to push back even harder. And the momentum’s going to continue in 2024. We have states like Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, they’re all on deck to expand school choice even further.

Look, this attack from the teachers unions, it just reeks of desperation. They’ve hit rock bottom. They’re grasping at straws to do whatever they can to try to trap other people’s kids and in their failing government schools. That’s not going to work anymore. Families are fed up.

HEGSETH: Corey, I’ve also had, I’ve begun to see some studies they’re trying to push or peddle that say, well, outcomes are worse when you have school choice. Speak to that, if you would.

DEANGELIS: There are 29 studies on the subject of school choice competition. 26 of the 29 studies find positive effects. School choice is a rising tide that lifts all boats. The public schools actually up their game in response to competition.


DEANGELIS: And, obviously, getting more of a choice, your kids are going to be better off because parents know their kids better than anybody. Certainly more than bureaucrats sitting in offices hundreds of miles away.

So you get an opportunity. Your kids are going to be better off on academics. But also just choosing a school that aligns with your values. Parents don’t want to send their kids to institutions where they feel like they’re being brainwashed for 13 years.

HEGSETH: What’s the biggest argument. You mentioned some of the states, I know Tennessee is one of them where there’s an ongoing debate. Yes, Democrats fight against it because they’re captured by the teachers unions, but you sometimes get some Republicans that are hesitant too. What’s your argument for Republicans that are hesitant about going all in for school choice?

DEANGELIS: Well, they’re not Republicans. This is a GOP litmus test issue. It’s on the Republican party platform. In Texas where I live, 88 percent of Texas primary voters supported school choice on the ballot.

So, they’ll make this argument to try to have their cake and eat it too. These are the same guys endorsed and funded by the teachers unions already. In Texas, 16 Republicans who are running for re-election who voted against school choice last year, they were all endorsed or funded by the teachers unions, and they all have primary opponents who support school choice, so we’re probably going to get a new House in Texas that is more supportive of school choice.

But they’ll say we live in rural areas, so we don’t have to vote for this, but it’s an ideologically bankrupt argument, because on the one hand they’ll say that they don’t have a lot of choices, but then they’ll also say this is going to destroy their schools. It’s not going to, if you’ve done it exit options, why would that hurt your schools? Voters in rural areas are very supportive of school choice, and rural states already have schools choice, like West Virginia, universal school choice.

HEGSETH: And if you believe your school is great and you want to keep it, then, it should stay that way and you can continue to choose that school. It’s all about competition forcing everybody to up their game. Corey DeAngelis, thanks for everything you’ve done in 2023, and if let’s hope you have another banner year in ’24. Appreciate your time.

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