High-profile GOP senator is waving the banner for school choice

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, who is frequently mentioned as a possible Republican presidential candidate in 2016, is leaving no doubt about his position on K-12 education policy, school choice rules the day.

rand-paulAs the Washington Post summed it up, Paul “wants more public charter schools. He wants more vouchers, so that students can use tax money to enroll in private schools. He says students ought to be able to attend any public school in a community, regardless of their neighborhood or property lines.”

Paul, a first-term senator from Kentucky,  reportedly hosted several other Republican senators at a school choice forum this week. The agenda included discussions about charter schools and private school vouchers. Also scheduled to attend were representatives of some of the nation’s most successful charter schools and Catholic schools that accept government vouchers in Washington, D.C.

He has also been giving interviews detailing his support for broad school choice policies, and how they can positively impact American students, particularly those from lower-income minority communities.

“I’m talking about opening up all the lines, so that kids can go to public, to private, whatever,” Paul was quoted as saying. “Some of these schools are absolutely pitiful, absolutely. What I’m really proposing is helping these kids get out from the grind.”

Paul noted that President Obama sends his daughters to Sidwell Friends, a prestigious private school in the District of Columbia. He believes all children should be able to have such advantages, regardless of their address or socio-economic status.

He says too many minority students are stuck in sub-standard public schools with miserable academic records.

“The people being hurt aren’t the rich kids in the suburbs,” Paul said in a recent interview. “It’s poor black and brown kids in the inner city.”

Paul defended the use of government vouchers for private school tuition, and rejected the idea that government funds are being used to support religious education.

“They’re not using government money,” Paul said. “It’s our money. We’re getting back some of the money taken from us. I think when you have choice, people choose the better product. I think it’s presumptuous of anyone to question parental authority (when choosing a school).”

By Steve Gunn at EAGnews.org

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5 Comments
  1. RightGunner says

    School choice, while no one is defining their meaning of school choice, is generally considered a good idea. However the devil is in the details and using tax money to accomplish school choice is a bargain with the devil.

    The evil exists in collecting taxes for non-constitutional uses, both Federal often and State less often. The Governments then use this money to force citizens to do things the Government wants to have happen, independent of what the citizens want. Clearly it would be much better to cut taxes through elimination of unconstitutional activities, to let citizens save much of their currently obligated tax funds. These funds can be then be used to provide the education for their children that they wish.

    Since no drastic change can ever be taken immediately, incremental changes could be used for now. Incremental changes could be just as effective towards moving toward what is desired, as the incremental changes of the last 100 years were in getting us the miserable position we are in today.

    And we must not forget that many of us who are successful did not do it by ourselves. Instead we had prior generations of family sacrifice, saving, hard work and character development. It also included our forebears monitoring their children’s education.

    This is counter to the President’s claim that Big Government did everything for everyone. But it is also recognition if a person has not received an advanced family start, that person is the one who must start the chain of saving, hard work and their children’s character development. This then can elevate the starting position of future generations of their family for their future children to excel at higher and higher levels.

  2. Betty4440 says

    yes and when you start using tax money on private schools like with public schools want the government start telling these schools. how these schools will be run?

  3. School choice means kids get a chance. Isn’t it curious how the Washington crowd make school choice in Washington, DC so difficult for parents who want to help their kids out of a lifetime of limits and poverty? Where is equal opportunity? Or fair and balanced for those children? Whoops! Silly me. All great exclamations from the Pinocchio-in-Chief mean exactly the opposite. Not having escape routes from failing public schools (supported by teacher unions), hundreds and thousands of our precious children will remain in poverty-ville . . . for life.

    1. Jay Star says

      Keep on going like it is and the rest of us will be in poverty for the rest of our lives!

      1. Betty4440 says

        and we need to get the government out of our private lives not getting them in it more.

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