Rand Paul on Education

Republican Kentucky Senator


COVID: Opening schools doesn't lead to a surge

Sen. Rand Paul blasted [coronavirus task force member] Dr. Anthony Fauci after the nation's leading infectious disease specialist reversed his position on keeping schools closed because of the novel coronavirus. The Kentucky Republican said, "When one person is so wrong as Dr. Fauci has been, it has grave effects for school children. The evidence is clear for six months. From countries in Europe and Asia that schools don't lead to a surge. Kids are poor transmitters of this."
Source: NewsMax, "Paul Blasts Fauci", on 2022 Kentucky Senate race , Dec 1, 2020

Don't constrict kids to one-size-fits-all Common Core

I believe that education is the great equalizer, but too often our one-size-fits-all system leaves most kids behind. The Federal Government should not dictate what happens in our local classrooms. I believe we must abolish Common Core and give control back to the states, localities and parents.

An overgrown federal bureaucracy, mandating standards and discounting local input will not lead to innovation. In order to compete with the rest of the world, our educational system needs innovation.

Parents and teachers should play an active role in their child's education and should be encouraged to choose the most appropriate educational institution for their child. We should encourage a variety of educational formats--whether it's public, charter, private, religious, homeschool or online. Our children should not be constricted to a one-size-fits-all format, as implemented by Common Core. Freedom to educate our children in a variety of formats will lead to competition and innovation.

Source: 2016 presidential campaign website, RandPaul.com, "Issues" , Apr 7, 2015

Transfer $100B spent on federal DOE to states & local

Education historically was a state and local subject. We spend about 100 billion dollars on the Department of Education each year and that's been going on since 1980. I'm not so sure we're better off than we were before. Well, what I would do is I would have it spent on the state and local level to allow innovation to occur. I propose that we allow school charters, school choice, vouchers, competition. Competition breeds excellence and encourages innovation. And boy we really need it, we need innovation
Source: Forbes Magazine "2016 Candidates Want You to Know" series , Apr 7, 2015

Charters & flexibility instead of federal one-size-fits-all

I believe in more local control over education, where states, localities, and parents can play a much more significant role in their children's schooling. The federal government has disregarded parental rights, and left kids with an unsatisfactory education. Innovation in education will never come from an overgrown federal bureaucracy, mandating standards and discounting local input.

I support reduced taxes and increased flexibility so families can choose the most effective educational institution for their child, whether it be public, private, charter, homeschool or online. I also seek to prevent the Department of Education from regulating private and homeschooling options.

I recognize the great potential of local schools and parents who are allowed the freedom to manage their own children's educational needs, according to the community they live in, as opposed to a one-size-fits-all federal government approach that has been proven to not work for most kids.

Source: 2015 official Senate website www.paul.senate.gov , Jan 15, 2015

Washington-based metrics stifle new ideas & innovation

Do we really need a federal Department of Education? The facts seem to speak for themselves. The Department has only been in existence since the 1980, and since that time, it has few positive achievements to highlight.

To truly assess the effectiveness of the Department of Education, we need to assess the effectiveness of federally mandated achievement levels. We need to analyze if these Washington-determined mandates and goals are really making our society better off.

Do centralized federal goals and curriculums bind opportunities for a new thinking in education, particularly if districts that innovate will be portrayed as falling behind on Washington-based metrics? It should be of concern to all of us that these tests, requirements, and centralized guidelines may very well stifle the opportunity for competition, new ideas and a willingness to adopt innovative educational systems.

Source: A Clear Vision to Revitalize America, by Rand Paul, p. 21-2 , Oct 1, 2013

Why tax federally to send money back to local schools?

This budget is not about eliminating or reducing educational opportunities, particularly in public education. We simply feel that our current, federally run education system prioritizes bureaucracy over the needs of local schools and students. The current system requires tax dollars to be sent to Washington to fund a huge bureaucracy. The money is then returned to the state capitols, further diluting these tax proceeds with administrative costs. What's left is finally sent to local schools, only to then be squandered on compliance costs and paperwork. It is our belief that America can and should be better than what our bureaucracy currently allows. Our goal is to allow school districts the opportunity to compete with schools in neighboring communities--or those in China--by emboldening school districts and parents to explore new and more innovative ways to propel America back to its place at as the best educated in the world.
Source: A Clear Vision to Revitalize America, by Rand Paul, p. 23-4 , Oct 1, 2013

Federal student loans are ok, if within spending limits

During the Q&A session after Sen. Paul's speech at Howard University, one student explained that he was not a fan of his view of government: "You say you want to provide a government that leaves us alone; quite frankly, I don't want that," the student said. "I want a government that is going to help me."

The student insisted that he wanted assistance for his college education and asked if Rand Paul supported a culture change within the nation. Paul responded that he believed that government should allow people to believe whatever they wanted, and clarified that he didn't believe in the absence of government.

The Kentucky Republican added that he supported the idea of student loans from the government but added that the federal government shouldn't be allowed to spend more money than it takes in: "I think 'leave me alone' is a good mantra for government because government has to be involved in certain things but there are many things that we can leave government out of," Paul concluded.

Source: 2013 Washington Examiner on 2016 presidential hopefuls , Apr 10, 2013

Allow school choice for everyone, white, brown, or black

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. We have cut classroom size in half and tripled spending on education and still we lag behind much of the world.

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. The status quo traps poor children in a crumbling system of hopelessness. When every child can, like the President's kids, go to the school of their choice, then will the dreams of our children come true!

Source: Tea Party Response to 2013 State of the Union Address , Feb 12, 2013

No Child Left Behind is federal takeover of schools

Sen. Rand Paul, in response to the announcement that President Barack Obama granted 10 states, including Kentucky, waivers for No Child Left Behind, released the following statement: "I applaud the President's decision to grant No Child Left Behind waivers to Kentucky and several other states," Sen. Paul said. "The implementation of this federal government takeover of our education system has hurt not helped parents, teachers, administrators, and most importantly, students.

"This waiver decision only serves to highlight the inherent problems with the federal takeover of education, and should remind us all that the best policy would be full repeal, with education decisions going back to the local governments, school administrators and parents. I am hopeful this decision also indicated President Obama has finally realized states would like relief from the burdensome mandates placed on them by the federal government," Sen. Paul concluded.

Source: 2012 official Senate website www.paul.senate.gov , Feb 10, 2012

Support homeschooling and parental responsibility

Rand proposes to restore the parental right to be responsible in educating children. He supports reduced taxes so that parents can allocate more of their own funds to homeschooling, if they so desire.
Source: 2010 Senate campaign website, www.randpaul2010.com, "Issues" , Jul 19, 2010

Block funding for Common Core; it's too heavy-handed.

Paul signed Letter from 11 Senators

Letter to the Senate Subcommittee on Labor Health and Human Services, and Education: "Eleven U.S. senators signed a letter asking Senate appropriators to block the use of funding to the Education Department to promote the Common Core education standards. The senators wrote a letter asking for appropriations legislative language 'to restore state decision-making and accountability with respect to state academic content standards.' Text of the letter:"

While the Common Core State Standards Initiative was initially billed as a voluntary effort between states, federal incentives have clouded the picture. The selection criteria designed by the U.S. Department of Education for the Race to the Top (RTTT) Program provided that for a state to have a reasonable chance to compete for funding, it must adopt a "common set of K-12 standards" matching the description of the Common Core.

Source: Letter on Sen. Grassley's Senate website 15_Lt_Edu on Apr 4, 2014

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Page last updated: Dec 29, 2021