Academia Comes After Joe Biden’s Anti-Busing Legacy

Joe Biden addresses the alleged threat of climate change at an event during his tenure as Vice President to former President Barack Obama. (Penny Starr/Breitbart News)
Penny Starr/Breitbart News

Former vice president, Senator and repeat presidential aspirant Joe Biden has a long record and some of it may come back to haunt him, including his past opposition on busing to end segregation.

Education Week’s political blog posted an article after Biden’s announcement on Thursday with a headline that read: “Joe Biden, Gun-Free School Zones Champion, Busing Critic, Is Running for President”

Education Week reported on Biden’s K-12 education legacy, including his authoring the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990, which some say has been seen as more harmful than helpful in preventing school shootings, including President Donald Trump:

Biden also focused on school safety during his time in the Senate, when he was the key author of the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990, which prohibited knowingly possessing and discharging a firearm on school grounds or within 1,000 feet of a school, with certain exceptions. (In 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump declared that the law merely turned schools into “bait” for violent criminals.)

Earlier in his tenure as vice president, Biden oversaw spending under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, also known as the stimulus. At the time, he warned that schools should avoid spending $100 billion in stimulus cash on things like swimming pools.

But it’s Biden’s views about race and education from several decades ago that have reemerged in headlines recently. The Washington Post recently highlighted Biden’s opposition to busing as a means to promote school integration during the 1970s. 

“I don’t feel responsible for the sins of my father and grandfather,” Biden said in 1975. “I feel responsible for what the situation is today, for the sins of my own generation. And I’ll be damned if I feel responsible to pay for what happened 300 years ago.” 

“A spokesman for Biden told the Post the former vice president stands by his position on busing but stressed Biden’s other work on civil rights including his push to desegregate a Delaware movie theater,” Education Week reported.

The blog also said Biden flip-flopped on the No Child Left Behind Act, first backing it and then opposing it.

“I would scrap it—or I guess, theoretically, you could do a major overhaul,” Biden said. “But I think I’d start from the beginning. You need better teachers. You need smaller classrooms. You need to start kids earlier. It’s all basic.”

Education Week also noted that when Biden was a presidential candidate in 2008 he backed free preschool for all and advocated for teachers who work in “disadvantaged neighborhoods” to get bonuses.

Follow Penny Starr on Twitter


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.