RIP Peter Flanigan
Jason Riley of the WSJ with a beautiful tribute to Peter Flanigan:
Peter Flanigan, an investment banker and influential aide to President Nixon, died Monday at age 90, and the obituaries understandably focus on his life in finance and politics.
But in his later years Flanigan, a devout Roman Catholic, turned to education philanthropy with a focus on providing ghetto kids with better school options. He sat on the board of the Alliance for School Choice and founded Student Sponsor Partners, a privately funded school-voucher program.
"Living the Call," a 2011 book on the role of laypersons in the church, describes Flanigan as "one of the great patrons of Catholic education for inner-city children in New York." In an interview with the authors, Michael Novak and William E. Simon Jr., Flanigan says that one reason he thought these kids might be better off in religious schools was the absence of teachers unions, which "are destroying the public school system." He also viewed access to a decent education as a civil right. "You and I know very few people whose parents didn't, one way or another, get their kids into a good school of their choice. But we deny that right [to inner-city kids]."