The 74 Million—a news site funded by charter supporters and billionaires—reports that Rep. Hakeem Jeffries will downplay his support for charter schools now that he is Minority Leader of House Democrats. Charters have lost ground among Democrats, and Jeffries wants to unite the party. Importantly, he doesn’t want to alienate the teachers’ unions, which are an important part of the Democratic Party’s base.

Most Democratic members of Congress realized that charters were a step towards vouchers, and that both were deeply embedded in the Trump MAGA agenda.

For a time, during the Obama years, Obama and his Secretary of Education Arne Duncan sold charters as a “progressive” idea that would nurture innovation. After thirty years, the charter claims dimmed. Too many scandals, too little innovation. Too many charter chains making profits or paying outlandish salaries. Too many charters that opened and closed within three years. Too many charters that believed harsh discipline was “innovative.”

The charter lobby considered Hakeem Jeffries one of its best friends, but that was before Trump chose Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. She was an outspoken friend of School choice, including charter schools. In recent years, red states have embraced charters and vouchers in their frenzy to privatize public schools and transfer public funding to private organizations.

Now, it’s clear to most Democrats that Republicans own the issue of charters and vouchers, not Democrats.

When Biden’s Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona proposed modest rules to clean up the federal Charter Schools Program, which hands out $440 million a year to start new charter schools, the charter lobby made wild claims about how any accountability would irreparably harm new charters, but Democrats didn’t go along. The usual charter supporters in the Senate—Booker, Bennett, and Feinstein—complained about the new rules, but when the Senate voted on a motion to overturn them, not a single Democrat voted for the motion.

Today, the strongest allies of charter schools in Congress are conservative Republicans, like Virginia Foxx (NC), chair of the House Education Committee.