Signs are emerging that the coalition that helped elect Democratic politicians at the state local and federal levels for decades may be fracturing. Black and Hispanic parents, longtime supporters of Democratic politicians, are now supporters of charter schools and school choice and seeking to pressure candidates to move away from the money and control of teacher’s unions.
The Washington Times is reporting that prior to last week’s Democratic presidential primary vote, dozens of black and Hispanic protestors were urging party leaders to walk away from teachers unions and support charter schools which they believe provide better educational opportunities for children.
The divisions are best reflected in recent poll numbers where among Democrats’ minority support for charters school choice eclipses that of white Democrats.
Such developments threaten to tear apart and reshape existing coalitions with considerable electoral damage. It’s already happening. In Florida in 2018, 100,000 African American moms choose the Republican Ron DeSantis over the Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum, for one reason: school choice. Those 100,000 votes determined the election.
Could such changes happen in North Carolina? It’s possible. The state has a growing school choice population; one in five students in K-12 schools attends a school of choice. Minority communities strongly support charter schools and the voucher program. On the other side are vocal public-school lobbying organizations who are working to limit charter school expansion and school choice in North Carolina.
The trendlines may be combustible. Will minority Democrats find a candidate at the national level who supports school choice? Or will candidates continue to be a mouthpiece for the teacher’s unions and the interests of the educational establishment?
Minority voters, parents and students lose under such a scenario. Does that reality change how you vote? A lot of people are waiting to find out.