Education equity: Why breakfast matters more than school choice

A school choice voucher doesn’t mean much to a hungry child. I should know. My mother, a longtime teacher, fed her students encouragement­ – and peanut butter crackers – before big tests. She knew she couldn’t expect kids to succeed when their stomachs were rumbling.

Yet a hungry belly isn’t the only sign of failing infrastructure in education. Consider the digital divide. Recently, in Salinas Valley, children sat on the ground outside a Taco Bell, using the restaurant’s internet to do their homework. “Salinas Valley is 45 minutes from Silicon Valley,” County Supervisor Luis Alejo said at the time, “and here we have such a huge divide that’s gone on for years but now it’s only amplified because of this pandemic.”

Meanwhile, on the opposite coast, the governor of South Carolina faces a lawsuit for using education funds from the CARES Act to prop up private schools instead of public

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