Wednesday, February 13, 2013

They Said it: School Choice and the State of the Union Address

A lot of chatter surrounding last night’s State of the Union Address has been focused on coming up with ways to solve our nation’s education issues.  While President Obama discussed the importance of providing low-income families with access to quality pre-k programs, many conversations have arose on the need to expand access to quality k-12 programs for America’s poorest students. 

In the Tea Party response to President Obama’s address, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) focused on the need to make options available to all students, no matter how much their family makes or where they live:

“For those striving to climb the ladder of success we must fix our schools. America’s educational system is leaving behind anyone who starts with disadvantages… A great education needs to be available for everyone, whether you live on country club lane or in government housing.

“This will only happen when we allow school choice for everyone, rich or poor, white, brown, or black. Let the taxes you pay for education follow each and every student to the school of your choice. Competition has made America the richest nation in history. Competition can make our educational system the envy of the world.”

In the official Republican response, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) reiterated the point that all students deserve an equal opportunity to receive a quality education: 

“We need to give all parents, especially the parents of children with special needs, the opportunity to send their children to the school of their choice.” 

Senator Rubio followed up his response by introducing legislation today aimed at expanding access to a federally funded scholarship program for low-income students.   If passed, the Educational Opportunities Act would provide families with household incomes equaling 250 percent of poverty ($57,625 for a family of four) with the opportunity to take advantage of scholarships to attend the private school of their choice.   

Learn more about the Educational Opportunities Act here 

Read American Federation for Children’s response to Senator Rubio’s bill here.
-American Federation for Children | Alliance for School Choice, KMS

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