2016 Republican Presidential Candidates


School Choice


  1. Act of choosing; the voluntary act of selecting or separating from two or more things that which is preferred; the determination of the mind in preferring one thing to another; election.
  2. The power or opportunity of choosing; option.
  3. Care in selecting; judgment or skill in distinguishing what is to be preferred, and in giving a preference; discrimination.
  4. A sufficient number to choose among.
  5. The best part; that which is preferable.
  6. Worthy of being chosen or preferred; select; superior; precious; valuable.
  7. Preserving or using with care, as valuable; frugal.
  8. Selected with care, and due attention to preference; deliberately chosen.

Constitutional Quotes

  •  None

2004 Republican Platform Quotes

  • Introduction and Preamble
    •  Our plans focus on ensuring that America remains safe, terrorists are defeated, and democracy flourishes in the world on preparing students for success in life by bringing the benefits of education reform to high schools
  •  Winning the War on Terror
    •  Africa
      •  We endorse the MCA's direction of resources to countries with governments that rule justly, root out corruption, encourage entrepreneurship, and invest in the health and education of their people.
      •  Republicans also commend President Bush and the Republican Congress for helping to provide Africa's children with the advantages of literacy and basic education through the Africa Education Initiative. This important initiative will provide teacher training, textbooks, and scholarships for girls to improve primary education on the continent.
    •  The Broader Middle East and North Africa
      •  We applaud the commitment represented by the President's Middle East Partnership Initiative, which funds economic, political, and educational reform efforts in the Middle East and champions opportunity for all people of the region, especially women and youth.
  •  Building an Innovative, Globally Competitive Economy
    •  We must ensure that workers are equipped with the education and training to succeed in the best jobs of the 21st century, and we must encourage the strong spirit of innovation that has put America at the forefront of new technology industries. 
    •  By keeping the costs of running a business low and ensuring that our workers have the skills to compete in a dynamic global economy, President Bush and the Republican Congress will continue to ensure that America is the best nation in the world in which to create jobs.
    •  Education: No Child Left Behind
      •  Public education, access for every child to an excellent education, is a foundation of a free, civil society.
      •  Every child deserves a first-rate education, because every child holds infinite potential, and we should give them every opportunity to reach it. We believe there is an inseparable link between a vibrant economy and a high- quality education system. It takes a vibrant economy to provide the tax base necessary to fund a high-quality education system. Equally, it takes a quality education system to provide the highly skilled labor force necessary to meet the demands of a growing, vibrant economy.
      •  Strong schools will also produce a workforce with the skills to compete in the 21st century economy. We must have citizens capable of conceiving the next generation of new technologies and innovations, mastering the art of analyzing problems and crafting their solutions. Education is the key to prosperity and fulfillment - the foundation on which all other success is built.
      •  On just his fourth day in office, President Bush presented the No Child Left Behind initiative to Congress. Less than a year later, he secured an overwhelming bipartisan majority to pass the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. It was the most significant overhaul of federal education policy since 1965. And it became a promise kept to parents, students, teachers, and every American.
      •  The law is based on four fundamental pillars:
        •  Ensuring stronger accountability for student achievement, for all children
        •  Encouraging education methods that work
        •  Providing flexibility and control to states and local communities
        •  Giving parents more information about the quality of their children's schools and offering them choices and resources for their children's education
      •  Results are now measured on the basis of student achievement rather than simply dollars spent. Students are benefiting from education reforms that set high academic standards, encourage strong parental involvement, recognize the role of excellent teachers, foster safe and orderly classrooms, and establish a commitment to teaching the basics of reading and math.
      •  With this success, Republicans have transformed the debate on education. We are the Party parents can trust to improve schools and provide opportunity for all children, in every neighborhood, regardless of background or income. We are the party willing to embrace new ideas and put them to the test. Americans agree that the status quo in education is no longer acceptable. We have challenged low expectations and poor achievement, and we are seeing results.
      •  Now is the time to extend the progress we've made. The No Child Left Behind Act is already showing gains in elementary school, as student achievement scores for fourth- and eighth-graders have increased in classrooms across America. Our next mission is to take the reforms that we know are working in elementary schools and apply them up and down the education ladder - starting in early childhood education, so that children enter school ready to learn, and finishing in high school, so that every young adult who graduates has the skills he or she needs to succeed in the 21st century economy. For too long, the value of a high school diploma has declined as students leave school without even basic skills like reading and math, let alone the advanced math and science skills the modern workforce demands. We pledge to bring real reform to high schools. Thanks to President Bush's vision and the success of the No Child Left Behind Act, we have a track record worthy of Americans' trust.
    •  Local Control
      •  We recognize that under the American Constitutional system, education is a state, local, and family responsibility, not a federal obligation. Since over 90 percent of public school funding is state and local, not federal, it is obvious that state and local governments must assume most of the responsibility to improve the schools, and the role of the federal government must be limited as we return control to parents, teachers, and local school boards.
    •  Historic Levels of Funding
      •  President Bush and Congressional Republicans have provided the largest increase in federal education funding in history and the highest percentage gain since the 1960s. Support for elementary and secondary education has had the largest increase in any single Presidential term since the 1960s - an increase of nearly 50 percent since 2001. The President and Congress are particularly focused on programs for America's neediest students, including minorities and children with special needs. With this increased funding comes a new focus on achievement and results.
    •  High Standards and Accountability
      •  The President and Republicans in Congress recognize that states and local communities are most directly responsible for the quality of education in their schools. That is why the No Child Left Behind Act stipulates that the states, not the federal government, develop an accountability plan that will work best for them. Since President Bush signed NCLB into law, all states have developed an accountability plan of assessments, graduation rates, and other key indicators of student achievement for all individual students and groups of students. Under the No Child Left Behind Act, every child counts. No child will be hidden in a maze of numbers. If some children are struggling while others succeed, we will praise success and deliver help to students who need it.
    •  Reading
      •  Our Party believes, as does the President, that reading is the new civil right. Every child must be able to read by the end of the third grade. The President and Congressional Republicans have taken important steps to help every student achieve that goal. The Reading First initiative brings scientifically based reading instruction, including phonics, to children in the early grades. Over $1.4 billion in funding for reading programs provides training for teachers and materials for children. In addition, since the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act, states have received additional funds for early childhood reading efforts.
    •  Options for Parents
      •  The Republican Party strongly supports school choice, because choice creates competition and competition puts the focus on quality. President Bush, Republican governors, and members of Congress have worked to expand parental choice and encourage competition by providing parents with information on their child's school, increasing the number of charter schools, and expanding education savings accounts for use from kindergarten through college.
      •  Under NCLB, states and school districts publish report cards showing how well students are achieving so communities and parents can know how well their schools are doing. Parents of children in schools identified as needing improvement can choose another public school or get tutoring or other help for their child. President Bush and the Republican Congress enacted the D.C. School Choice initiative - the first federally funded school choice demonstration program. We commend the President and Congress for making DC's schoolchildren the most important special interest in education improvement. And we support state efforts to expand school choice, as well as the President's call to provide funding for new and existing charter schools, including assistance for school facilities. We believe that competition between schools is an effective option to improve the educational benefits for our children. The Republican Party supports the efforts of parents who choose faith-based and other nonpublic school options for their children.
    •  High School Education
      •  We are beginning to see success as a result of the No Child Left Behind Act at the elementary level, and now we must improve our high schools so that every graduate is prepared for the rigors of college, for the best jobs of the 21st century economy, or for military service. President Bush has proposed a number of initiatives to improve math and science education, help striving readers, and raise standards for high schools.
    •  Supporting Teachers
      •  Research confirms what every parent knows to be true through commonsense and experience - a good teacher makes all the difference in a child's education. The No Child Left Behind Act set the goal of having a highly qualified teacher in every classroom by the 2005-2006 school year. States have been provided flexibility and resources to make sure teachers have the skills and tools to be successful with all children. These needed reforms are backed by historic levels of funding for teacher quality initiatives and support for teachers, including training, recruitment incentives, loan forgiveness, and tax relief.
      •  We must also work to reduce the barriers that are keeping qualified professionals from entering the classroom by expanding alternative pathways to teacher certification - programs like Troops to Teachers, which helps former military personnel become classroom teachers; and Transition to Teaching, which provides training for people who want to become teachers and encourages states to develop and expand alternative routes to teacher licensure and certification.
      •  Every teacher and every student deserves a safe classroom in which to work and learn. The No Child Left Behind Act ensures that teachers and other school professionals can undertake reasonable actions to maintain order and discipline in the classroom without the fear of litigation. The law provides civil immunity in any state court and limits the financial liability of teachers, instructors, principals, administrators, and other education professionals for actions taken to maintain discipline, order, or control in the school or classroom.
    •  Head Start and Early Childhood Education
      •  We support the President's "Good Start, Grow Smart" initiative, which strengthens Head Start by increasing accountability in the program so that students start kindergarten with the early skills they need. It also includes the Early Reading First initiative, designed to improve existing early education programs to prepare young children to succeed in school, especially those from low-income families. States should be able to coordinate preschool programs with Head Start programs in exchange for meeting certain accountability requirements.
    •  Community Colleges
      •  Community colleges play a vital role in not only cultivating citizens for the 21st century, but also equipping them with the essential skills and training needed for jobs in the new economy. Because they are so adaptable and accessible, community colleges are increasingly critical providers of job training, both for degree-seekers and for workers seeking to retool, refine, and broaden their skills. We support the President's High- Growth Job Training Initiative, which has provided seed money to fund job training partnerships between community colleges and local high-growth industries.
    •  Higher Education Affordability
      •  Republicans are working to ensure that college is affordable and accessible for America's low- and middle-income families through increased funding of grants, low- interest student loans, and tax breaks for working families. As a result of Republican leadership, total student aid for higher education has increased to a historic $73 billion proposed for 2005. Next year, almost 10 million students and parents will receive one or more grants, loans, or work-study awards.
      •  The President has requested record levels of Pell Grant funding. These grants will help an estimated 5.3 million low-income students pay for higher education - one million more students than when President Bush and Vice President Cheney came to office. Under a new Enhanced Pell Grant proposal, low-income students who take a rigorous high school curriculum - the kind of curriculum that will best prepare them for success in college - will be eligible to receive an additional $1,000 per year.
      •  To ensure that America remains the world leader in the innovation economy - and to ensure that America's graduates have the training they need to compete for the best jobs of the 21st century - President Bush proposes to expand opportunities for math and science education in colleges and universities. Needy students studying math and science will be eligible to receive additional college aid.
      •  Republicans have made Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) a priority. For more than a century, HBCUs and HSIs have played a vital role in providing opportunities for excellence in higher education to millions of African American and Hispanic students. Today, their mission continues, and it deserves our support. We applaud President Bush for fulfilling his pledge to increase funding for HBCUs and HSIs by 30 percent since 2001.
    •  Research and Development
      •  America's economy is undergoing a fundamental transition from one based primarily on manufacturing to one based on innovation, services, and ideas. Two-thirds of America's economic growth in the 1990s resulted from the introduction of new technology and 60 percent of the new jobs of the 21st century require post-secondary education, yet only one-third of America's workforce has achieved that level.
    •  Telecommunications
      •  Broadband provides Americans with high-speed Internet access connections that improve the nation's economic productivity and offer life-enhancing applications, such as distance learning, remote medical diagnostics, and the ability to work from home more effectively. Broadband technology will enhance our nation's economic competitiveness and will help improve education and health care for all Americans.
      •  The promise of broadband over power lines and wireless Internet access provide new opportunities to connect households, schools, and businesses to the Internet. 
      •  Republican policies are working:
        •  Ninety-four percent of public schools have broadband access to the Internet.
  •  Strengthening Our Communities
    •  Agriculture and Rural America
      •  President Bush and the Republican Congress are promoting good schools, accessible health care, decent housing, safe drinking water and waste disposal, and efficient transportation.
    •  Revitalizing America's Cities
      •  And the No Child Left Behind law is bringing new hope to parents and students in inner city schools.
    •  The District of Columbia
      •  A landmark tuition assistance act opened the doors of America's public colleges and universities to residents of the District. And, thanks to President Bush acting in concert with Republicans in Congress, District elementary and high school students are now benefiting from the $14 million D.C. School Choice initiative - the first federally-funded school choice demonstration program.
    •  Ensuring Equal Opportunities
      • We also favor recruitment and outreach policies that cast the widest possible net so that the best qualified individuals are encouraged to apply for jobs, contracts, and university admissions. We believe in the principle of affirmative access - taking steps to ensure that disadvantaged individuals of all colors and ethnic backgrounds have the opportunity to compete economically and that no child is left behind educationally. We support a reasonable approach to Title IX that seeks to expand opportunities for women without adversely affecting men's athletics. 
    •  Removing Barriers for Americans with Disabilities
      •  The New Freedom Initiative is helping Americans with disabilities by increasing access to assistive technologies, expanding educational opportunities, increasing the ability of Americans with disabilities to integrate into the workforce, and promoting increased access into daily community life.
      •  We applaud the President and Congress for increasing funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which requires that eligible students with disabilities be provided a free, appropriate public education. We also endorse efforts to protect children and their parents from being coerced into administering a controlled substance in order to attend school.
    •  Native Americans
      •  We applaud President Bush for keeping his promise to eliminate within five years the maintenance and repairs backlog afflicting Indian schools. This promise will be achieved in only four years with funding in the 2005 budget.
  •  Protecting Our Families
    •  Protecting the Educational Rights of Parents and Students
      •  As stated earlier, we applaud efforts to promote school choice initiatives that give parents more control over their children's education. By the same token, we defend the option for home schooling and call for vigilant enforcement of laws designed to protect family rights and privacy in education. Children should not be compelled to answer offensive or intrusive questionnaires. We will continue to work for the return of voluntary school prayer to our schools and will strongly enforce the Republican legislation that guarantees equal access to school facilities by student religious groups. We strongly support voluntary student-initiated prayer in school without governmental interference. We strongly disagree with the Supreme Court's rulings against student- initiated prayer.
  •  Summary and Call to Action
    •  We stand for the freedom of families and individuals to have good schools, good health care, and affordable housing and services.

Republican School Choice Values

  •  Access for Every Child to  Excellent Education, is Foundation of a Free, Civil Society
  •  Every Child Holds Infinite Potential
  •  Ensure Strong Accountability for Student Achievement
  •  Encourage Education Methods that Work
  •  Provide Flexibility and Control to States and Local Communities
  •  Give Parents More Information About School Quality and Offer Education Choices and Resources
  •  Reduce Barriers Keeping Qualified Professionals from Becoming Teachers
  •  Home Schooling Should Always be an Option

Administrative Policy Initiatives

Republican Sponsored Legislature

Judicial Cases

Advocacy Organizations

Links of Interest

Related Issues and Relationship

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Last modified: June 15, 2015