Rick Perry on Education
Republican Governor (TX)
JOHNSON: I am going to promise to advocate the abolishment of the federal Department of Education.
PAUL: If you care about your children, you'll get the federal government out of the business of educating our kids.
PERRY: There are a lot of good ideas here on cutting back on the Department of Education. I happen to believe we ought to be promoting school choice all across this country. The voucher system, charter schools all across this country. But there is one person on this stage that is for Obama's Race to the Top and that is Governor Romney. He said so just this last week. And I think that is an important difference between the rest of the people on this stage and one person that wants to run for the presidency. Being in favor of the Obama Race to the Top and that is not conservative.
PERRY: Well, I think the reductions that we made were thoughtful reductions, and the fact of the matter is, Texas has made great progress in the 10 years that I've been governor, from the standpoint of our graduation rates now are up to 84%, higher than they've been during any period of time before that. We're making progress. When you share the border with Mexico, and when you have as many individuals that we have coming into the state of Texas, we have a unique situation in our state. But the fact is, I stand by a record from what we've done with the resources that we've had, and I think that the reductions that we put in place were absorbed by our schools.
I see a people who can pray in their schools as they wish and towns across America that can publicly celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or nothing at all.
I see an education system that is the envy of the world, controlled by parents and the people according to the beliefs of the communities in which they live. I see an energetic mix of public, charter, and private schools, delivering options so people can choose what is best for their children, rather than getting stuck because a too-powerful teachers' union or government bureaucrat tells them how they must learn. The result is an important balance of academic excellence, local values, and a firm understanding of our nation's core founding principles--all of which will carry our nation forward with new generations of American achievement.
Do you think there would have been significant Republican opposition? Nope. In the House, Republicans voted 185-34 in favor of NCLB, while in the Senate the vote among Republicans was 43-6. Unfortunately, this willingness to turn power over to Washington was driven in significant part by the desire to further expand federal faith-based initiatives and to provide for the increased possibility of school choice. This is a perfect example of Republicans losing sight of the fact that perfectly laudable policy choices at the local level are nor appropriate (much less constitutional) at the federal level. This is not consistent with a belief in a limited federal government of enumerated powers. Worse, the Department of Education is now unfettered in its ability to interfere in the affairs of local government.
Ultimately, the decision was easy for two reasons. First, the Texas school system is performing well, with leading standards, and innovative charter schools. Second, the money we turned down was about $75 per student. It is frustrating when we are put in this position, but at some point we have to start telling Washington that we've had enough of the strings they attach.
Of course the secular news media cannot advocate a faith perspective, but they can refrain from expressing a bias that people of faith hold irrational views about issues that have scientific ramifications. They can also explore the SCIENTIFIC basis for theories such as intelligent design.
Texas is among several states expected to seriously consider creating a voucher program. Rick Perry, who said he supports the court’s decision, said a voucher program could be developed next year in the Legislature, where similar bills have stalled before. “What it says is that parents have a place and role in the decision-making process about where their children go to school,” he said. “It’s about parental choice.” Perry said he favors starting with a pilot program.
Perry watchers have varying explanations for the fate of school vouchers this session -- and for Perry’s failure to fight harder or more publicly on their behalf: The first theory holds that he’s not really a true believer in vouchers. The second explanation is that he is a true believer in the voucher issue?among others?but that he’s laying low until assumption of the governorship allows him to reveal his true colors. Yet a third explanation is that Perry is simply learning the ropes and building relationships with legislators before making a serious run at an issue that has proved controversial among voters and politicos alike.
The Christian Coalition voter guide [is] one of the most powerful tools Christians have ever had to impact our society during elections. This simple tool has helped educate tens of millions of citizens across this nation as to where candidates for public office stand on key faith and family issues.
The CC survey summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: "Voluntary prayer in public schools and facilities"
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