2020 Democratic White House hopeful and self-help author Marianne Williamson said Thursday it is an act of violence to deprive children of a high-quality education by tying them to schools based on neighborhood.
“Our educational policies are in many ways violent,” Williamson declared at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. “Particularly given the fact that when that is withheld, it is due to the fact that that child wasn’t lucky enough to live in a rich neighborhood.”
Williamson also criticized the way public schools are funded. “We have the audacity to base our educational funding primarily on property taxes, that is a passive form of oppression and that is violent.”
Another prominent leftist made a similar argument, condemning the current U.S. education system for trapping promising students in poor-performing schools because of their neighborhood.
During a speech endorsing Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders for president, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez explained how her family was able to move to a different school district so she could attend better schools.
“That’s when I got my first taste of a country who allows their kids’ destiny to be determined by the ZIP code that they are born in,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
.@AOC on her family moving from the Bronx to Westchester so she would receive a better education: “That’s when I got my first taste of a country who allows their kids' destiny to be determined by the zip code that they are born in." pic.twitter.com/ZPmAUSCyc0
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) October 19, 2019
Williamson’s comments came during remarks pushing for a new United States Department of Peace tasked with ending global conflict. Williamson’s plan for the new federal department is centered on coordinating existing agencies within the federal government, much like the Department of National Intelligence’s role among intelligence agencies.
In her speech, Williamson asserted that leaders of various agencies tasked with solving global crises that she argues are a threat to national security such as climate change and world hunger would be given equal weight in her administration as the leader of the Pentagon.
“The head of the USAID should have a seat at the table no less powerful than our secretary of defense,” Williamson said.
Since entering the race, Williamson has struggled to garner significant traction among voters to land her anywhere near top-tier status in a crowded primary field. While she qualified for the first two Democratic debates this summer, she failed to meet the qualifying threshold to participate in subsequent debates and only has one qualifying poll towards earning a podium on stage for fifth debate in Georgia next month.
According to Real Clear Politics’ latest aggregate of polls, Williamson is only holding onto 0.3 percent national support, and fails to land more than half a point percent in the critical early primary and caucus states of Iowa and New Hampshire.