Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Vice Presidential Support for School Choice, Past and Present

Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy” may be the most famous line uttered during a vice presidential debate, and now that Paul Ryan has joined Mitt Romney in the race for the White House, let’s take a look at both the Paul Ryan’s and Vice President Joe Biden’s support of educational options.

Joe Biden

The Obama-Biden Administration remains steadfast in its opposition to the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program.  Despite having made a deal to reauthorize the program for five years, the President zeroed out funding for the program in his budget.  But long before Joe Biden was Vice President Joe Biden, he supported vouchers:

Even if vouchers were to take money away from the public schools--and I should point out that not all voucher proposals do--that does not in and of itself mean that public schools will be harmed. 

When you have an area of the country--and most often here we are talking about inner cities--where the public schools are abysmal or dysfunctional or not working and where most of the children have no way out, it is legitimate to ask what would happen to the public schools with increased competition from private schools and what would happen to the quality of education for the children who live there. 

Paul Ryan

While the President’s budget zeroed out funding, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget would fund the program as intended by federal law.  And it makes sense, since Ryan hails from the Badger State, which is home to the nation’s longest running voucher program.  The Washington Times’ Deborah Simmons, praised Ryan’s support of school choice, writing:

As for the other end of the education spectrum, Mr. Ryan is spot on, earning an A+ for school choice during all seven of his terms in Congress, especially for his support of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program.

Both of these officials have seen the benefit of school choice, let’s hope they truly support educational options in the race for the White House.

- American Federation for Children | Alliance for School Choice, MSG

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