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Government Officials Answer Tough Questions about Their Children’s Education
posted by: Alix | July 22, 2011, 06:50 PM   

There is no doubt that we are facing difficult circumstances in American public schools. Budget shortfalls and the need for commonsense reforms have dominated headlines for years. While mayors, governors, and superintendents make the tough decisions regarding our nation's school systems, it is just in recent memory that private decisions regarding where they send their own children to school have made national headlines of their own.

This week, newly elected Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was asked by a local reporter where he planned to send his young daughters to school. While Emmanuel attempted to dodge the question, the hot-tempered mayor fired back with his "personal decision" to send his children to a prestigious Chicago private school. "My children are not in a public position. The mayor is... I'm making this decision as a father," he elaborated.

Weeks ago, equally feisty New Jersey Governor Chris Christie verbally reprimanded a constituent who dared to ask why he was cutting education funds and sending his children to parochial school. "Gayle, it's none of your business where I send my kids to schools," became an instant quotable line among Christie fans. The governor further elaborated that while he and his wife believe that Catholic school is the best fit for their own children, he feels an obligation to all children in his state.

Even President Obama is not insulated from public curiosity. Last year, the president made waves when he answered a question about education in his new place of residence, Washington, D.C. By his own admission, he indicated that his daughters would not get the same education at a District public school as they do at their elite suburban private school. "The DC public schools systems are struggling," he said.

Do these politicians in positions of power seem out of touch when their own children attend schools with tuition approaching $40,000 per year? Governor Christie noted that he pays property taxes like everyone else. Why can't he make a decision that he believes is right for his own family?

Interestingly, the common denominator among all of these elected officials is that they are all in the process of pushing an ambitious education reform agenda in their respective city, state, and in the United States in general. Might these questions and have something to do with their policy agendas?

Do you think where our elected officials send their children to school is fair game in the education debate?

Comment below.

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