Hillary Clinton on School Choice

More teachers, smaller classes, no vouchers

Iíve been involved with schools now for 17 years, working on behalf of education reform. And I think we know what works. We know that getting classroom size down works. Thatís why Iím for adding 100,000 teachers to the classroom. We know that modernizing and better equipping our schools works. And we know that high standards works. But whatís important is to stay committed to the public school system, not siphon off money, as my opponent would, with vouchers.
Source: NY Senate debate on NBC Oct 28, 2000

Vouchers drain money from public schools

Q: Do you support vouchers for private schools?

CLINTON: Iíve visited schools throughout the state and some of them are among the finest in the world that you could find anywhere. But others are overcrowded, under-resourced. Thatís why I put forth a plan to try to get the teachers that we need and to provide the funds that are required for modernizing our schools, as well as setting high standards, making them safe from violence. I do not support vouchers. And the reason I donít is because I donít think we can afford to siphon dollars away from our underfunded public schools.

LAZIO: I believe that itís immoral to ask a child to go to a school where they canít learn or where theyíre not safe. 80 percent of African-American and Hispanic parents feel that they need it. Why should we trap poor kids in failing schools simply because the teachers unions wonít agree with it?

Source: Clinton-Lazio debate, Buffalo NY Sep 13, 2000

Fight with Gore for public schools; no voucher ďgimmicksĒ

[Gore] will make education his priority. I will fight with him; I will be by his side as we fix our public schools. I will be by his side as we fix crumbling schools, as we put more teachers in our classroom to lower class size, as we improve the quality of education. We know that [education] is not the priority of the Bush-Giuliani team. The other team, they want to talk about gimmicks like vouchers.
Source: Adam Nagourney, New York Times Mar 12, 2000

Vouchers will not improve our public schools

I know there are some who believe that vouchers are the way to improve our public schools; I believe they are dead wrong. There is simply no evidence that vouchers improve student achievement. Weíve been experimenting with vouchers in some jurisdictions for a couple of years-weíve found no evidence that these have made any difference in student achievement. But what they have done is to divert much-needed public funds for the few and have weakened the entire system.
Source: Remarks to NEA in Orlando, Florida Jul 5, 1999

Letís build up our schools-not tear them down

We know a lot more today than we knew five or, certainly, 10 years ago about what we need to do to marshal the resources to make every school that successful. So letís build up our schools-not tear them down. And letís make sure that everyone has the same goal in mind-to make our public schools and our public school students the best in the entire world.
Source: Remarks to NEA in Orlando, Florida Jul 5, 1999

Charter schools provide choice within public system

I stand behind the charter school/public school movement, because parents do deserve greater choice within the public school system to meet the unique needs of their children. Slowly but surely, weíre beginning to create schooling opportunities through the public school charter system-raising academic standards, empowering educators. When we look back on the 1990s, we will see that the charter school movement will be one of the ways we will have turned around the entire public school system.
Source: Remarks to NEA in Orlando, Florida Jul 5, 1999

Charters meet needs of failing public school students

Charter schools can play a significant part in revitalizing and strengthening schools by offering greater flexibility from bureaucratic rules, so that parents, teachers, and the community can design and run their own schools, and focus on setting goals and getting results. Many of these schools are meeting the needs of students who had trouble succeeding in more traditional public schools. Every child deserves a quality public education as part of their American birthright.
Source: Remarks at Charter School Meeting, Washington DC Aug 4, 1998

Vouchers siphon off much-needed resources

Charter schools are a way of bringing teachers and parents and communities together-instead of other efforts-like vouchers-which separate people out-siphon much needed resources; and weakening the school systems that desperately need to be strengthened.
Source: Remarks at Charter School Meeting, Washington DC Aug 4, 1998

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Other candidates on School Choice: Hillary Clinton on other issues:
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George W. Bush
Al Gore
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David McReynolds
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