ISSUE

Education Freedom

What investment could be more important than your children? The pandemic served as a sharp reminder that when it comes to education, parents know what’s best for their children—not government bureaucrats and unions. The two largest teachers’ unions—the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers—boast a combined membership of around 4.6 million even though less than a third are public school teachers. There are simply too many bureaucrats and administrators running the education system. Our children are falling through the cracks because too few are looking after their well-being.    

 

Given that the United States is one of the wealthiest and most powerful nations in the world, it is unconscionable that our students are underperforming international standards in math, reading, and science. As taxpayers, we fund a public-school system that is a failing government monopoly. Around 90 percent of America’s children attend a taxpayer-funded government school to which they are assigned because of where they happen to live. I believe parents should be able to choose where to send their children to school, yet only a small percentage of America’s 50 million K-12 students have access to the kind of educational choice they need to succeed.

 

Public schools should make their curricular resources available to the public so that parents can discover what is being taught in their children’s K-12 schools. The federal government should not support so-called diversity training that promotes Critical Race Theory (CRT) and ideas such as “unconscious bias.”


We are also leaving our younger generations behind in places like North Minneapolis. We’re not preparing them with the vocational skills they need to be employable and self-sufficient. High School can’t just be about getting kids in and out of the door. We need to prepare these young adults with the skills they’ll need to find and keep a job. 

 

There are several steps Congress can take to advance education freedom. Currently, around $14 billion in federal funds are earmarked for school districts to help low-income students. These funds should instead be made available to low-income students to use at any public or private school of their choice. I also support dollar for dollar federal tax credits for contributions that provide scholarships to low-income children to attend a school of their choice.

 

The key to the success of America’s economy is freedom and competition. Competition produces excellence. We should focus on giving all children the opportunity to succeed and reward students based on their achievements, not their race, gender, religion, or income level.