Though a conservative youth organization doesn’t expect to hear many right-leaning speakers at college graduations this year, parent-led strides for school choice are expected to help make a difference in the future.
Looking at the top 100 national universities as ranked by the U.S. News and World Report, Young America’s Foundation (YAF) reports that 53 liberal speakers have been invited to give commencement addresses this year, compared to just three conservatives.
“That obviously shows a huge disparity there in the number of conservative voices,” YAF spokeswoman Kara Zupkus tells American Family News.
The Class of 2022 will hear speeches from left-wing speakers like President Joe Biden, actor and former Obama administration staffer Kal Penn, singer/songwriter Taylor Swift, journalist Bob Woodward, and former Governor Deval Patrick (D-Massachusetts).
“Conservative voices like Glenn Younkin (R-Virginia) and Tim Tebow were only invited to speak at three commencement ceremonies, which is mind-boggling,” Zupkus says.
She suggests that many universities “bow to the mob” and avoid inviting conservative speakers because they are “scared that these students are going to walk out or stage a protest.”
“They’ve really become so used to getting anything that they demand from the university that these students just don’t know how to react when they’re faced with opposing viewpoints,” the YAF spokeswoman laments.
This is the 30th year that YAF has researched the ratio of liberal to conservative commencement speakers. Zupkus does not think conservative speakers will dominate the survey in any future years, but she does think there is some ground to be made.
On that note, parents in Texas have overwhelmingly shown support for school choice, and Governor Greg Abbott (R) has given his blessing for it. So now it is up to the state legislature to make it happen.
Mandy Drogin, state director for the American Federation for Children (AFC), explains that if lawmakers approve the program, then state funds will be free to follow students to any educational setting of their parents’ choice.
“88% of Republican voters as of the March 1st primaries said to Gov. Abbott and to all of the officials, ‘We want school choice,’ and they’re listening,” she tells American Family News.
She does not, however, anticipate any help or support from teachers’ unions.
“They tend to want to control the money and anything they can, so I think it’s fair to say they’re not going to support and have not been supportive publicly so far of Gov. Abbott taking this strong stance,” Drogin relays.
Nevertheless, she is confident that the Republican-controlled House and Senate will pass a forthcoming school choice measure.
Copyright American Family News. Reprinted with permission.