Thursday, August 30, 2012

Third Party Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson on Education

While candidates President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney are the main candidates in the presidential race, there are some lesser known third party candidates also vying for the presidency. Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson is running as a Libertarian with running mate Judge Jim Gray of California. When asked via email what his views on education are, here's what the Libertarian candidate had to say:

[My] plan to abolish the Education Department would free states from any restrictions on allowing entrepreneurs to offer any type of school that satisfies parental demand, including ones with unique scientific teachings.
American education is at a crossroads.

We can either choose to continue down the path of higher costs, poorer results, and top down thinking, or challenge the status quo by using what actually works rather than what we wish would work. 

The problem is public education in America is now doing less with more. This is unsustainable for our pocketbooks and, most importantly, unfair to our children. 

Now, imagine an educational system that not only educates students better, but also does it for less money every year. It would give each American child the opportunity to choose an individualized education to realize his or her dreams.

•All parents should have an opportunity to choose which school their children attend. 
• Putting educational funds in the hands of the people who use them gives parents and students a vote as to which schools are best and which need to improve. 
• Our children deserve the chance to succeed educationally, but the same old way of thinking won't cut it. It's time to free individuals and states from burdensome federal mandates and regulations so they can pursue the right educational strategies for their students. 

ALTHOUGH IT MAY SOUND DRASTIC, THERE ARE practical reasons why it should be considered:

• The Department of Education grants each state 11 cents out of every dollar it spends on education. Unfortunately, every dollar of this money comes with 16 cents of strings attached. States that accept federal funding lose five cents for every dollar spent on education to pay for federal mandates and regulations, taking millions of dollars out of the classroom. 

• Schools should have the authority to decide how best to spend educational dollars. Without federal regulations and mandates, schools could choose to purchase new computers, better lab equipment, and maintain after-school sports and music programs even during times of tight budgets.  
• Once citizens and their local representatives have the freedom to decide how their educational funds will be spent, they can consider innovations that will drive student choice, educational competition, and better results.

*For more information on Gary Johnson, see:

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