STEPHANOPOULOS: I want to pick up on an issue that came up in Thursday night’s debate. It was between Kamala Harris and Joe Biden, who are raising his opposition to busing back in the 1970s. I want to bring the debate forward. You’ve mentioned — you’re concerned about the idea of resegregation of our schools. Does that mean that busing should be on the table today?
SANDERS: Well, I think what we — resegregation is a very, very serious problem. And the federal government has failed in fighting for fair housing legislation. We need basically in this country well funded public schools, we need to honor our teachers, respect teachers, make sure that they’re earning a living wage. We need to take care of those schools today, which have a lot of kids who are, in some cases, actually hungry, coming from troubled families. We need to build public education in this country. We need to make sure that kids go to community schools, which are integrated and that means we have to focus on fair housing legislation and enforcement.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But does that also mean busing? Because your website actually says that you are coming out for repealing of the ban on funding for busing.
SANDERS: No, we’ve — busing is certainly an option that is necessary in certain cases, but it is not the optimal. Does anybody think it’s a good idea to put a kid on a bus, travel an hour to another school and to another neighborhood that he or she doesn’t know? That’s not the optimal. What is the optimal is to have great community schools which are integrated, that’s what I think most people want to see. That’s what I want to see.Sanders is candid about the problems inherent in school busing. His solution seems to be to work on the integration of communities, and that will lead to the schools being integrated, as opposed to busing children each day to another community altogether.
Here are Rich Lowry’s comments:
LOWRY: If [Biden] starts down that path of apologizing for everything, that’s the path of destruction for him. Now, clearly he should have been — he should have been better prepared, but he also should have said, busing was largely a failure. It ended up being unpopular with everyone. And this debate is a policy nullity now, no one is going to seriously argue for a widespread forced busing again.