Today during a New Hampshire House of Representatives Education Committee meeting, a school choice piece of legislation was being discussed, Senate Bill 193, (SB 193), AN ACT establishing education freedom savings accounts for students. During the meeting, Representative Joe Pitre (R-Farmington) spoke about how school choice has helped some students, especially minority students. Rather than actually listen to his words, New Hampshire Democrats chose instead to follow the lead of an extremist organization.
Pitre talked about the education gap that exists for black and Latino students and explained that no matter how much money is being used to shrink that gap, it hasn’t been working as expected but school choice has greatly helped. He told the story about Tiffany Dunston, who was able to use school choice to get out of bad public schools as a young black student in Washington D.C. Not only did she graduate as Valedictorian of her class but today is a PhD and thanks her opportunities for success due to that school choice opportunity.
Instantly, Reaching Higher Education, a left-wing organization in New Hampshire that is against school choice and for Common Core, tweeted about Pitre’s statement but not in context nor did they seem to grasp what he was saying:
That was followed up by out-of-state funded extremist Zandra Rice-Hawkins of Granite State Progress (GSP) who instantly labeled Pitre as ‘racist’:
And of course, the New Hampshire Democrats jumped on the bandwagon of vicious lies like they always do:
Pitre was 100% correct about the ‘education gap’ when it comes to black and Latino students as studies have shown. From U.S. News and World Report:
The U.S. spends significantly more on education than other OECD countries. In 2010, the U.S. spent 39 percent more per full-time student for elementary and secondary education than the average for other countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Yet, more money spent doesn’t translate to better educational outcomes. In fact, American education is rife with problems, starting with the gaping differences between white students and students of color: More than 60 years after Brown vs. Board of Education, school systems in the United States are separate and unequal. By 2022, the number of Hispanic students in public elementary and secondary schools is projected to grow 33 percent from the 2011 numbers. The number of multi-racial students is expected to grow 44 percent.
Political Buzz spoke with Representative Pitre about this incident and he couldn’t believe that anyone would interpret what he said as racist. He has long been a supporter of school choice and providing the best education to all children and has conducted research on education outcomes. He was in disbelief when he found out:
A lot of the Democrats on the committee were astounded when Victoria [Representative Victoria Sullivan] told us what had happened. They took it out of context. It’s just ridiculous.
Sullivan also posted a statement on social media about this disgusting incident. Here is some of her statement:
A representative of Reacher Higher NH was in the room tweeting and misrepresented this statement. The NH Young dems expanded on it and called him racist. The NH Democratic Party, without verification, immediately jumped on board.
I brought these tweets to attention of the committee before we adjourned. No one in committee found Rep. Pitre’s statement to be racist, and were stunned that his comments were misrepresented in this fashion.
Even Democrats on the committee were disgusted with what GSP and their own party leaders claimed with their false accusations of racism. The entire committee was not happy about this news.
Of course, Granite State Progress doubled-down on their racist lies and is demanding Pitre be removed from the Education Committee:
Statement from Granite State Progress Executive Director Zandra Rice Hawkins:“Rep. Pitre’s racism was on full display today in the State House. Rep. Pitre should apologize immediately, not be rewarded with a seat on the SB 193 working group. His views are clearly out of line with American values of equality and justice for all. We call on Governor Sununu, Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut, Speaker Jasper, and all other prominent Republicans to immediately denounce his remarks and make it clear that New Hampshire does not judge you by the color of your skin, but by the content of your character. We further ask that Rep. Pitre not only be removed from the SB 193 working group, but removed from the Education Committee entirely since he clearly does not believe in quality education for all of New Hampshire’s children.”
New Hampshire Democrats would serve their members well if they distanced themselves from the extremists of this organization. Not only are these egregious lies disgusting but neither Granite State Progress nor the New Hampshire Democrat Party have apologized for spreading these lies.
What’s truly ironic is it’s the Democrat Party and far left-wing progressives like Hawkins who hate school choice. They absolutely abhor better outcomes for children with school choice. They are against it even though it’s proven to help poor minority students the most. GSP and Democrats fight against school choice all the time.
Representative Pitre was pushing for school choice because it’s been proven to actually help shrink the education gap for minority students. Since GSP and most Democrats fight against school choice knowing this, who are the actual racists? It seems Hawkins, Buckley and the New Hampshire Democrat Party should take a look in the mirror to answer that question.