WHEN IT COMES TO EDUCATION REFORM, I BELIEVE IN THE FOLLOWING CORE PRINCIPLES -
The federal government has spent nearly $2 trillion on education since 1965. In addition, real federal spending per pupil has nearly tripled since 1970. However, at the same time, test scores have not improved, nor has America's education system become the envy of the world.
Real reform is needed, not just more money.
The District of Columbia is a prime example. With an annual budget of $1.3 billion and an audited enrollment of 44,681, the per pupil cost is $29,000. Meanwhile, fewer than half of the students who enter the ninth grade in D.C. go on to graduate four years later.
Contrast that with the private schools serving D.C.'s 1,700 voucher students. The average tuition is $6,600, and after three years in the program, voucher students read more than two school years ahead of their public school peers. For 1/5 the cost, you get better results.
What education needs is choice, competition, discipline, and an elimination of federal mandates. If States wish to utilize vouchers, charter schools, magnet schools, or tailor their education system to the needs of their students, they should not have to check with some bureaucrat in Washington before they do what is best for their kids.
Re-allocating the over $100 billion per year the federal government spends on education to loan forgiveness, college, voucher, and other grants, scholarships, and debt reduction would free local school districts to educate students and foster hundreds of innovative programs.
WITH THOSE PRINCIPLES TO GUIDE ME, I SUPPORT -
·Ending No Child Left Behind
·Eliminating the Federal Department of Education and re-allocating the $100 billion per year towards education loans, grants, loan forgiveness and government debt reduction
·Eliminating all primary and secondary federal education regulation. Current federal regulations cost taxpayers $1.13 trillion in total compliance costs in 2005
·Returning all primary and secondary education control back to the States and ending mandates
·Giving teachers the right to enforce discipline in the classroom and protecting them from frivolous lawsuits
·States adopting accountability measurements for students and teachers before receiving any federal money