Romney Unveils Education Plan
(WASHINGTON) -- Mitt Romney unveiled his education plan on Wednesday, vowing to make sweeping changes to the public education system by expanding school choice by assigning federal money to low-income students who will then, in turn, be able to take that money to a school of his or her choice or use it for tutoring or digital education.
“I’ll be blunt,” Romney said during an address to The Latino Coalition’s Annual Economic Summit. “I don’t like the direction of American education, and as president, I will do everything in my power to get education on track for the kids in this great land.”
Romney, who said students in the U.S. are receiving a “third-world education” where “minority children suffer the most,” outlined Wednesday for the first time the specific steps he would take toward education reform.
“As president, I will pursue a very bold policy of change that will restore the promise of our nation’s education system,” he said, standing in front of a banner that read, “A Chance for Every Child.” “For the first time in history, federal education funds will be linked to the student, so that parents can send their child to any public or charter school of their choice.”
Romney outlined that states would have to provide students with “ample school choice” and that digital schools could not be barred from receiving the federal funds. Students would be able to take the money to a school outside his or her district, but schools would have to be empowered to address capacity issues should they arise.
Mentioning the Bush-area education plan known as “No Child Left Behind,” Romney said that the legislation “helped our nation take a giant step forward in bridging the information gap,” but was “not without its weaknesses.”
“As president, I am going to break the political logjam that has prevented successful reform of the law,” said Romney. “I’ll reduce federal micro management, but I’m going to redouble efforts to ensure that schools are held responsible for results.”
Romney’s plans will shift the responsibility of school report cards from the federal level to the state level in an attempt to give parents a clearer understanding of their child’s education. Additionally, Romney said he would consolidate the more than 80 federal programs that focus on teacher evaluation and provide incentives to states that “regularly evaluate” their teachers and reward those who are the most successful in the classroom.
“As president, I will make it my goal to ensure that every classroom has a quality teacher,” Romney said.
In a briefing call prior to Romney’s speech, the campaign’s domestic policy director, Oren Cass, said that the education plan would not involve any new spending.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio