Hispanic Democrat, former teachers’ union worker explains why she’s voting Republican

A former Democrat who worked for a teachers’ union has said the party “has chosen the unions over parents” and is now planning on voting Republican.

In an op-ed piece for Fox News, Valeria Gurr, a first-generation Chilean-American, has detailed her frustrations with the Democratic Party and the reasons why she’s left citing education as her priority.

“There’s a growing trend in America catching the attention of astute political observers and candidates alike: Hispanic voters are leaving the Democratic Party in droves. It’s a voting bloc many Democrats have relied on to win elections, so why is this change happening? There are no doubt many reasons, but it’s clear that education is among the top motives,” Gurr wrote.

Gurr complained that many Democrats maintain that immigration is the only issue that the Hispanic-American voting bloc is concerned with when that is clearly not the case. She says that a “fair chance at a decent living” supersedes a whole host of other issues.

“Many Democrats, on the other hand, keep insisting that immigration is the only issue we care about. Although immigration does matter, it is not the only issue important to our community. We also care about the reasons we immigrate to begin with. A fair chance at a decent living supersedes many other issues, and a good living often correlates with a quality education,” Gurr noted.

She said that she came to this country to seek “endless opportunities” but was met with a variety of difficulties – one of which was the education system. She explained that she realized her story was not uncommon and is shared by many Hispanic immigrants and she stresses that the “surest way to attain the American Dream is to gain access to a good education.”

Gurr cites the recent findings of the Nation’s Report Card as a result of the actions of the education establishment. She notes that Hispanic students face the common challenges of language barriers, financial struggles, and limited internet access but that the decision-making of school boards has only served to exacerbate these obstacles.

“The truth is, Hispanic students often face barriers decreasing their opportunities at a quality education. Language barriers, financial struggles, restricted internet connection and lack of access to devices at home are common obstacles for Latino students. The actions of the education establishment over the last few years made these challenges much worse, resulting in record gaps in reading for Hispanic fourth-grade students in 38 of the 50 states, according to the latest Nation’s Report Card (NAEP) scores,” wrote Gurr.

In a recent interview on Fox Business News, Gurr was asked if she had lost confidence in the public schools and she responded resolutely, “Absolutely.” Gurr currently works as the director of external affairs for the American Federation for Children, a group that advocates for school choice for parents and students.

Gurr celebrates the fact that, according to the Pew Research Center, Hispanic voters are the fastest-growing racial and ethnic group of eligible voters since the last midterm elections. She hopes that, with a population making up 14% of this midterm’s eligible voters, they “finally have the opportunity” to make their “voices – and vote – count.”

“With the failures of traditional public schooling, thousands of children are being left behind, and for too many Democrats and some Republicans, the answer is to quiet the parents, expand the broken system, and sweep the failures under the proverbial rug, hoping no one is paying attention,” she lamented.

Due to consistently poor administration, and lack of accountability, she decided to leave the Democrat Party; the party that she says has “chosen the unions over parents.”

“I left the Democratic Party because in my state of Nevada, the party has chosen the unions over parents. Voters in some states or districts have the luxury of choosing among candidates in both parties who support choice, but in the Silver State, the choice was made for me. I was tired of hearing the arguments against school choice, the focus on spending more on a system that was failing my community, and knowing stifling of real solutions to the inequalities in the system.”

Gurr anticipates the November 8th elections to be a referendum on the governance of the Democratic Party and contends that Democrat policies of the past will lose them the support from Americans across the political and ethnic spectrum.

“On November 8, I expect there to be a significant wake-up call for the Democratic Party and any leaders who are still loyal to the teachers’ unions. Sticking to the old smoke and mirror trick with education will cost them one of the most sacred rights of all Americans – our vote.”


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