Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) was one of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ biggest critics during her confirmation hearing. One major point of contention Franken had with DeVos was her support for a voucher system for middle-class families. This, in part, led him to claim that DeVos was “fundamentally unqualified to lead the Education Department.”
“In reality, most school vouchers don’t cover the full cost of private school tuition,” Franken had said. “Nor do they cover additional expenses like transportation, school uniforms and other supplies.
“Which means the vouchers don’t create more choices for low-income families,” he said. “They simply subsidize existing choices for families who could already afford to pay for private school.”
However, information has surfaced that shows Franken isn’t opposed to school choice at all — at least not when it comes to his own family. According to the Daily Caller, Franken sends his own children to one of the most prestigious schools in New York, where tuition is more than the yearly salary of those Franken claims he’s looking out for.
Minnesota Sen. Al Franken’s two children attend Dalton School, described by the liberal-leaning Daily Beast as “one of New York’s most exclusive and rigorous private schools and boasts an impressive roster of celebrity alumni, including Anderson Cooper and Claire Danes.” Dalton’s application asks parents to list any prestigious titles they hold, including, “Princess, Senate and Ambassador,” according to The Daily Beast.
Franken describes Dalton as “a very high-powered, expensive New York City private high school.”
How expensive? Dalton’s tuition is currently $44,640 a year.
Furthermore, Franken himself benefited from school choice. According to an interview in Harvard Magazine, Franken attended one of the most prestigious charter schools in Minnesota.
Franken turned out to be a whiz in science and math, and when his brother went off to MIT, the family began to look for a better secondary school for Al. As it happened, Blake was looking for kids just like him.
“Blake was a school chartered for Protestants,” Franken said. “In the 1950s, it started to lose the ability to get enough kids into top colleges. They needed kids who would score well. And they said …‘JEWS!’ ”
Interestingly enough, the National Education Association was also opposed to DeVos. The organization’s president, Lily Eskelsen García, called DeVos “dangerously unqualified” and echoed the same sentiments that Franken expressed concerning DeVos’ lack of experience with public schools.
According to Union Facts, Franken was given $10,000 for his campaign by the NEA.