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Ron Paul on Education

Republican Representative (TX-14); previously Libertarian for President


School prayer is not a federal issue

[Limits on Constitutional authority] holds true for issues like prayer in schools. Such issues were never meant to be decided by federal judges. The whole point of the American Revolution was to vindicate the principle of local self government.
Source: The Revolution: A Manifesto, by Ron Paul, p. 61 Apr 1, 2008

Private funds for arts work better than government funds

Some Americans appear to believe that there would be no arts in America were it not for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). While the government requested $121 million for the NEA in 2006, private donations to the arts totaled $2.5 billion that year, dwarfing the NEA budget. NEA funds go not necessarily to the best artists, but to people who happen to be good at filling out government grant applications. I have my doubts that the same people populate both categories.
Source: The Revolution: A Manifesto, by Ron Paul, p. 75 Apr 1, 2008

Close Dept. of Education, but donít dismantle public schools

Q: You said you want to abolish the public school system.

A: We elected conservatives to get rid of the Department of Education. We used to campaign on that. And what did we do? We doubled the size. I want to reverse that trend.

Q: What about public schools? Are you still for dismantling them?

A: No, Iím not. Itís not in my platform.

QWhen you ran for president in 1988, you called for the abolition of public schools.

A: I bet thatís a misquote. I do not recall that.

Source: Meet the Press: 2007 ďMeet the CandidatesĒ series Dec 23, 2007

Encourage homeschooling & private school via tax writeoff

to the teachers to raise their salaries. We should encourage homeschooling & private schooling and let the individuals write that off. The parents have to get control of the education. It used to be parents had control of education through local school boards. Today itís the judicial system and the executive branch of government, the bureaucracy, that controls things, and it would be predictable that the quality would go down. The money goes to the bureaucrats and not to the educational system a
Source: 2007 Des Moines Register Republican Debate Dec 12, 2007

Donít impeach judges for decisions on legislature prayers

Q: Recently, a federal judge ordered the Indiana legislature to censor their prayers. Specifically, the federal judge ordered the Indiana legislature to never allow anyone to offer an invocation prayer in Jesusí name. Will you as president consider impeachment a possible remedy for this judicial activism?
Source: [Xref Hunter] 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate Sep 17, 2007

Present scientific facts that support creationism

Q: Academic freedom is threatened when questioning the theory of evolution. An Iowa State astronomer was denied tenure because of his work in intelligent design in May 2007. Censoring alternative theories--dogmatic indoctrination--has replaced scientific inquiry. Will you encourage a more open approach to the presentation of scientific facts that contradict the theory of evolution?
Source: [Xref Hunter] 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate Sep 17, 2007

Equal funds for abstinence as contraceptive-based education

Q: Iím 18. One in four sexually-active teens has a sexually-transmitted disease. Meanwhile, 2.5 million American teens like me have taken public abstinence pledges, to save sex until marriage--the only 100%-proven effective solution and prevention for STDs. Would you bring abstinence-education funding onto equal ground with contraceptive-based education?
Source: [Xref Cox] 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate Sep 17, 2007

Tax-credited programs for Christian schooling

Q: Iím 17, and Iím the product of school choice. In the public schools I repeated the 7th grade three times, because of my deficiency in math & English. My mother then sent me to New Generation, a Christian school. After one year, my math improved 5 grade levels, and my English improved 3. Will you support school choice for other students like me with similar tax-credit programs?
Source: [Xref Keyes] 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate Sep 17, 2007

Guarantee parity for home school diplomas

My commitment is to ensure that home schooling remains a practical alternative for American families. As President I will advance tax credits through the Family Education Freedom Act, which reduces taxes to make it easier for parents to home school by allowing them to devote more of their own funds to their childrenís education. I am committed to guaranteeing parity for home school diplomas and advancing equal scholarship consideration for students entering college from a home school environment.
Source: Campaign website, www.ronpaul2008.com, ďIssuesĒ Sep 1, 2007

Voted NO on $40B for green public schools.

Congressional Summary:Make grants to states for the modernization, renovation, or repair of public schools, including early learning facilities and charter schools, to make them safe, healthy, high-performing, and technologically up-to-date.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes: Rep. BETSY MARKEY (D, CO-4): This legislation will improve the learning environment for our children, reduce energy costs and create new jobs across the country. Green schools not only save school districts money but also teach the importance of sustainable living to children at a young age.

Opponent's argument to vote No: Rep. GLENN THOMPSON (R, PA-5): We all know our Nation is drowning in a sea of red ink. The bill we're debating today would add an estimated $40 billion in new spending. And despite the majority's hollow promises of fiscal responsibility, there's nothing in the legislation to offset this hefty price tag with spending reductions elsewhere. This is just more of the same borrow and spend, spend and borrow policy that we've seen under this majority and this administration.

Reference: 21st Century Green Schools Act; Bill H.R.2187 ; vote number 2009-H259 on May 14, 2009

Voted NO on allowing Courts to decide on "God" in Pledge of Allegiance.

Amendment to preserve the authority of the US Supreme Court to decide any question pertaining to the Pledge of Allegiance. The bill underlying this amendment would disallow any federal courts from hearing cases concerning the Pledge of Allegiance. This amendment would make an exception for the Supreme Court.

Proponents support voting YES because:

I believe that our Pledge of Allegiance with its use of the phrase "under God" is entirely consistent with our Nation's cultural and historic traditions. I also believe that the Court holding that use of this phrase is unconstitutional is wrong. But this court-stripping bill is not necessary. This legislation would bar a Federal court, including the Supreme Court, from reviewing any claim that challenges the recitation of the Pledge on first amendment grounds.

If we are a Nation of laws, we must be committed to allowing courts to decide what the law is. This bill is unnecessary and probably unconstitutional. It would contradict the principle of Marbury v. Madison, intrude on the principles of separation of powers, and degrade our independent Federal judiciary.

Opponents support voting NO because:

I was disappointed 4 years ago when two judges of the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that our Pledge, our statement of shared national values, was somehow unconstitutional. I do not take legislation that removes an issue from the jurisdiction of this court system lightly. This legislation is appropriate, however, because of the egregious conduct of the courts in dealing with the Pledge of Allegiance.

By striking "under God" from the Pledge, the Court has shown contempt for the Congress which approved the language, and, more importantly, shows a complete disregard for the millions of Americans who proudly recite the Pledge as a statement of our shared national values and aspirations. No one is required to recite the Pledge if they disagree with its message.

Reference: Watt amendment to Pledge Protection Act; Bill H R 2389 ; vote number 2006-384 on Jul 19, 2006

Voted NO on $84 million in grants for Black and Hispanic colleges.

This vote is on a substitute bill (which means an amendment which replaces the entire text of the original bill). Voting YES means support for the key differences from the original bill: lowering student loan interest rates; $59 million for a new Predominantly Black Serving Institution program; $25 million for a new graduate Hispanic Serving Institution program; provide for year- round Pell grants; and repeal the Single Lender rule. The substitute's proponents say:
  • The original bill has some critical shortcomings. First and foremost, this substitute will cut the new Pell Grant fixed interest rate in half from 6.8% to 3.4%, to reduce college costs to those students most in need.
  • It would also establish a new predominantly black-serving institutions programs to boost college participation rates for low-income black students, and a new graduate Hispanic-serving institution program.
  • As we saw from 1995 to 2000, the questions employers were asking was not your race, not your ethnicity, not your religion, they wanted to know if you had the skills and talents to do the job. Most often today, those skills and that talent requires a higher education. A college education is going to have to become as common as a high school education.
    Reference: Reverse the Raid on Student Aid Act; Bill HR 609 Amendment 772 ; vote number 2006-080 on Mar 30, 2006

    Voted NO on allowing school prayer during the War on Terror.

    Children's Prayers Resolution: Expressing the sense of Congress that schools should allow children time to pray for, or silently reflect upon, the country during the war against terrorism.
    Reference: Bill sponsored by Isakson, R-GA; Bill H.Con.Res.239 ; vote number 2001-445 on Nov 15, 2001

    Voted NO on requiring states to test students.

    No Child Left Behind Act of 2001: Vote to pass a bill that would authorize $22.8 billion in education funding, a 29 percent increase from fiscal 2001. The bill would require states to test students to track progress.
    Reference: Bill sponsored by Boehner R-OH; Bill HR 1 ; vote number 2001-145 on May 23, 2001

    Voted NO on allowing vouchers in DC schools.

    Vote to create a non-profit corporation to administer federally-funded vouchers for low-income children in the District of Columbia.
    Reference: Amendment introduced by Armey, R-TX; Bill HR 4380 ; vote number 1998-411 on Aug 6, 1998

    Voted YES on vouchers for private & parochial schools.

    Vote to pass a bill to allow states to use certain federal funds designated for elementary and secondary education to provide scholarships, or vouchers, to low-income families to send their children to private schools, including religious schools.
    Reference: Bill sponsored by Riggs, R-CA; Bill HR 2746 ; vote number 1997-569 on Nov 4, 1997

    Abolish the federal Department of Education.

    Paul adopted the Republican Liberty Caucus Position Statement:

      BE IT RESOLVED that the Republican Liberty Caucus endorses the following [among its] principles:
    1. The US Department of Education should be abolished, leaving education decision making at the state, local or personal level.
    2. Parents have the right to spend their money on the school or method of schooling they deem appropriate for their children.
    Source: Republican Liberty Caucus Position Statement 00-RLC2 on Dec 8, 2000

    Sponsored bill for private scholarships to public schools.

    Paul sponsored for tax deduction for private scholarships to public schools

    OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: To allow an income tax credit for amounts contributed to charitable organizations which provide elementary or secondary school scholarships and for contributions for instructional materials and materials for extracurricular activities.

    SPONSOR'S INTRODUCTORY REMARKS: Rep. PAUL: This act, a companion to my Family Education Freedom Act, takes a further step toward returning control over education resources to private citizens by providing a $3,000 tax credit for donations to scholarship funds to enable low-income children to attend private schools. It also encourages private citizens to devote more of their resources to helping public schools, by providing a $3,000 tax credit for cash or in-kind donations to public schools to support academic or extra curricular programs.

    Many of those who share my belief that the most effective education reform is to put parents back in charge of the education system have embraced government-funded voucher programs as a means to that end. I certainly sympathize with the goals of voucher proponents, but supporters of parental control of education should view Federal voucher programs with a high degree of skepticism because vouchers are a creation of the government, not the market. Vouchers are a taxpayer-funded program benefiting a particular group of children selected by politicians and bureaucrats. Therefore, the Federal voucher program supported by many conservatives is little more than another tax-funded welfare program establishing an entitlement to a private school education. Vouchers thus raise the same constitutional and moral questions as other transfer programs. A superior way of improving education is to return control of the education dollar directly to the American people through tax cuts and tax credits.

    LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Referred to House Committee on Ways and Means; never came to a vote.

    Source: Education Improvement Tax Cut Act (H.R.611) 03-HR0611 on Feb 5, 2003

    Rated 67% by the NEA, indicating a mixed record on public education.

    Paul scores 67% by the NEA on public education issues

    The National Education Association has a long, proud history as the nation's leading organization committed to advancing the cause of public education. Founded in 1857 "to elevate the character and advance the interests of the profession of teaching and to promote the cause of popular education in the United States," the NEA has remained constant in its commitment to its original mission as evidenced by the current mission statement:

    To fulfill the promise of a democratic society, the National Education Association shall promote the cause of quality public education and advance the profession of education; expand the rights and further the interest of educational employees; and advocate human, civil, and economic rights for all.
    In pursuing its mission, the NEA has determined that it will focus the energy and resources of its 2.7 million members toward the "promotion of public confidence in public education." The ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.
    Source: NEA website 03n-NEA on Dec 31, 2003

    Supports a Constitutional Amendment for school prayer.

    Paul co-sponsored a resolution for a School Prayer Amendment:

    H.J.RES.52 (2001), H.J.RES.66 (1999), S.J.RES. 1, H.J.RES.12, H. J. RES. 108, & H. J. RES. 55:

    Nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to prohibit individual or group prayer in public schools or other public institutions. No person shall be required by the United States or by any State to participate in prayer . Neither the United States nor any State shall compose the words of any prayer to be said in public schools.
    H. J. RES. 78 (1997):
    To secure the people's right to acknowledge God according to the dictates of conscience: Neither the United States nor any State shall establish any official religion, but the people's right to pray and to recognize their religious beliefs, heritage, or traditions on public property, including schools, shall not be infringed. Neither the United States nor any State shall require any person to join in prayer or other religious activity, prescribe school prayers, discriminate against religion, or deny equal access to a benefit on account of religion.
    Source: H.J.Res.78 97-HJR78 on May 8, 1997

    Other candidates on Education: Ron Paul on other issues:
    Nominees:
    GOP: Sen.John McCain
    GOP V.P.: Gov.Sarah Palin
    Democrat: Sen.Barack Obama
    Dem.V.P.: Sen.Joe Biden

    Third Parties:
    Constitution: Chuck Baldwin
    Libertarian: Rep.Bob Barr
    Constitution: Amb.Alan Keyes
    Liberation: Gloria La Riva
    Green: Rep.Cynthia McKinney
    Socialist: Brian Moore
    Independent: Ralph Nader
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