WASHINGTON-Today, Citizens for a Sound Economy praised the content of President Bush’s first “official” proposal. The President’s education initiative took a huge step in the right direction by making the educational needs of America’s children its top consideration.
CSE was particularly pleased that the final proposal included a school choice program that will allow the parents of poor students in failing schools to apply the federal aid their schools receive-about $1500 a year-to tuition for private schools or better-performing public schools.
Director of CSE’s Center for Consumer Choice, Erick Gustafson, released the following statement:
“CSE supports the major tenets of President Bush’s plan to require performance based education funding. For far too long our nation’s poorest children have languished in a broken system.
“All parents should have the power and opportunity to choose their child’s school-regardless of where they live or what they earn. Policies such as vouchers and school choice will increase competition, innovation and diversity in the education system, improving education for all children and best preparing them for the challenges of the 21st century.
“Obviously defenders of the status-quo will continue to argue erroneously that this proposal would undermine the public education system by taking money out of the schools. These education monopolists continue to oppose innovative proposals and seem to care more about appearances than substance. As Secretary of Education Rod Paige said on Sunday: ‘We’ll use the taxpayers’ money to make sure the child learns. You know, that’s what that’s about. We want to be concerned about the results, not about the structures.’
“CSE applauds such common sense reform. Ultimately Congress will have to decide which is more important: appearances and arrangements or real improvements in education. That is the fundamental question and the one the teachers’ unions, and those representing their interests, don’t want to be asked.”
Erick Gustafson is available for comment.