Rubio makes a national push for school choice

After a quick water break, Rubio is back in business.

Following through on his promise to promote school choice, Sen. Marco Rubio introduced a measure Wednesday that would create tax incentives aimed at helping students cover the costs of private school.

Mr. Rubio, the Florida Republican who delivered the official Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union address, said his “Educational Opportunities Act” would open up tax breaks for individuals and corporations that send charitable contributions to scholarship-granting organizations, which provide money to eligible students who attend private elementary and secondary schools.

“This bill will incentivize investment in students and empower parents and K-12 students by allowing more educational opportunities, especially in low-income households that would otherwise not be able to afford it,” Mr. Rubio said. “It’s the kind of incentive that will help improve education in America and prepare our children for the jobs of tomorrow, without additional burdens on the American taxpayer.”

I don’t like federal involvement in education, but I’m a big supporter of school choice. I’ll have to research this proposed legislation some more. But if Rubio gets it right, this could be an excellent reform.



39 thoughts on “Rubio makes a national push for school choice

  1. Greg B. says:

    This is hilarious. A 41 year old who just paid off his federally subsudized student loans now wants to use federal money to finance private education. Yet he simultaneously bashes Obama for pushing social programs and handouts? You really can’t make this stuff up. If we’re going to start redistributing taxpayer money to people who choose not to take advantage of the free public education system we already have, can we also give money to childless people who don’t use the schools at all?

  2. SearchCz says:

    It was pretty dumb for the GOP to stage that event with the water out of frame like that. But even dumber for critics to make that the focus of their retorts.

    I find it a little odd for Rubio to be so dismissive of government help, then to cite how government has helped both himself and his mother. Tough to reconcile these apparently contradictory ideologies. Help?

  3. tranxtian says:

    We already have school choice. I chose to work harder and make sacrifices so I could send my kids to private school. No one stopped me.

    1. abadilla says:

      No, we don’t! Millions of children are subjected to a failed system because we don’t have school choice. If we did, parents would get vouchers to send their kids to successful schools to have a fighting chance in life.
      However, as someone already pointed out, the danger of the government providing vouchers is that then the government could dictate to schools their own ideology, and under this present administration, that would be a disaster.

      1. tranxtian says:

        No, millions of children are subject to mediocre schools because parents and society doesn’t care. Funneling money to private schools isn’t a way to make our public schools better. That’s just stupid.

        1. abadilla says:

          No, it isn’t stupid at all. The public school system is poor because they don’t have to compete for better schools. If they had to compete for better schools, they would begin to do a better job which would be good for the common good. I don’t want every kid to be part of a private or even a Catholic school, however, I want every kid to have a fighting chance whether he or she goes to a public or a private school.
          After 30 years of teaching, I presume I know what I’m talking about.

          1. Catholic Alcoholic says:

            i agree with you abadilla. we pay taxes to support the public school but i send my children to the catholic school. i wish i could just have the portion of my taxes that goes to the public school and send it to the school i choose for my children. it is very tough to come up with the money to pay for school every month but we must do it.

          2. abadilla says:

            Sure, the public school system here in California is the biggest joke we have. They teach the kids every politically correct view while reading, writing and math go un-noticed, and the way they treat teachers is just horrendous, but we are supposed to do nothing about it.

          3. Greg B. says:

            Politically correct view = science, facts, logic, reality.

          4. abadilla says:

            I guess YOUR understanding of the phrase politically correct has nothing whatesoever to do with my understanding of the same phrase. The last thing I would think about something being politically correct is that it is based on Science, or logic, or facts.

          5. Greg B. says:

            And how about people who don’t have any children? Shouldn’t they get back the portion of their taxes that go to public schools?

          6. says:


      2. Greg B. says:

        Why should my tax dollars pay for the religious indoctrination of your children?

        1. chris scanlan says:

          Private schools are widely recognized as performing better than their public counterparts and have a history of high graduation rates and college acceptance rates as well. Why wouldn’t you want your taxpayer dollars going towards a system and education that works so much better that public schools?

          1. Greg B. says:

            Public schools should be publicly funded. Private schools should be privately funded. It’s pretty simple.

          2. abadilla says:

            You tell me how fair the system is that is asking a parent who chooses to send his or her kid to a private school, has to pay a ton of money for that, and on top of that has to pay taxes for an educational school system which is a complete disaster.
            To add insult to injury, the kids going to public high schools are being indoctrinated by flaming liberals against the ideals the parents of the kids have.
            How is that fair?

        2. My tax dollars ARE paying for the indoctrination of children into the “religion” of the State, and have been for decades. I grew up in that system – know it all too well. That’s why I want better for my kids. Tell you what – you don’t pay for my kids’ education, I won’t pay for yours, let’s get the government completely out of education. Oooh, wait, that won’t happen. So I’ll keep being robbed at gunpoint to pay for state indoctrination of children.

        3. abadilla says:

          If you feel that Catholic schools do nothing else but “indoctrinate” then there are other non-Catholic private schools where children can also go.
          I’ve taught in Catholic high schools for almost thirty years and I can’t think of a single instance when “indoctrination” was a factor. In my class I tell my Catholic high school students they will have the opportunity to study the faith and grow on it, and my non-Catholic kids just have to learn the subject to learn what it is Catholics believe in. Why? Very simple, they choose to come into a Catholic setting. They are our guests but always free to leave if they feel we are indoctrinating them and not once in thirty years have we had a non-Catholic parent complaining his or her child is being indoctrinated. I might add, most of our student upon graduation go on to prestigious Catholic and non Catholic universities.

      3. Failed system? Not at all. The government system is performing extremely successfully, turning out liberally indoctrinated drones that are dependent on the state in one way or another. There is no reason for the government to encourage any other educational system. “School choice” programs, like homeschooling legislation, are a way for the government to get their hooks into the viable educational alternatives, make them more dependent on the State, and then control their curriculum and activities so that those students can be indoctrinated as well. A true solution would be to get the government out of schooling entirely, to be replaced with private schools run as businesses and controlled by the market, grassroots co-ops, etc. Of course, the government would hate the loss of the ability to tear youth from their families and form them into good little partisans – and they’ve already succeedeI in large part, because they’ve brainwashed most Americans into thinking that their schools are indispensable, and the only avenue of much-needed education for the 99%.

        1. abadilla says:

          I just went to a conference of young people who are debaters. I could not believe my ears as to what I heard and I believe their liberal ideas are no accident: they are the proof that they are being indoctrinated in our public school system with every possible aberration their teachers think is normal thinking. Furtheremore, outside of the academic world, most folks just don’t think that way. One kid complained that religious people have a moral compass. Because I’m an adult, I had to sit and listen, but I felt like saying, “what’s wrong with having a moral compass?” Shouldn’t we all have one? A young lady spoke of the need for 15 year olds to have contraceptives and she made it clear no one, not even parents, had the right to interfere with a fifteen year old “uterus.” I felt like saying, “My daughters are in their thirties, but if they were fifteen, I would have much to say about their uterus.”
          The idea of the government staying out of schools has been a proposal Republicans do not have the stomach to deal with. At this point, particularly this administration, wants to keep their hands on public education because they are doing a good job in indoctrinating kids for the future Democratic Party.

          1. I’m so sorry. I was one of those teen debaters many years ago, indoctrinated in a large east coast city government school system.I’m ashamed to say I bought it hook, line, and sinker – though I was very intellectually gifted and a champion debater. By the grace of God I remained curious and irritated, studied many other religions, then studied my own objectively (and discovered I was poorly catechized, to put it mildly! I wish you’d been my teacher!), and came to a beautiful andever-deepening adult faith of my own. Needless to say, catechesis is a passion of mine, and I serve my parish as a second grade catechist. I also homeschool my children (so they could pretty much teach the parish classes we have them in), and we also live our faith as fully as we are able.

          2. abadilla says:

            “I’m ashamed to say I bought it hook, line, and sinker – though I was very intellectually gifted and a champion debater.”

            And some of the kids I heard were very intellectually oriented but tend to be very “uncritical” in listening to the propaganda of their teachers. When I teach I tell the students they are free to research what I have told them. I don’t want them to believe me simply because I’m their teacher. I want them to discover the beauty of our faith through their intellects and be moved in their hearts by the Holy Spirit.

            “I wish you’d been my teacher!”

            With all my faults and imperfections, I know the importance of transmitting the faith to young students. I know they live in the clutches of a relativistic and secular society. I know who their “heroes” are and believe me, it isn’t Jesus Christ and His truth. Keep working in catechesis. When I retired, I plan to continue to teach at my parish but this time I will teach adults.

          3. I have at times felt called to work with our RCIA program, but I’m not sure the time is now. Due to many life circumstances, it took seven years for the calling to be a catechist to come to fruition! I feel that, in my life, the Lord plants these seeds in me and nurtures them slowly and patiently. He has the time, I suppose. :-)

          4. abadilla says:

            Sometimes the problem with the RCIA programs is not what they say but what they don’t say, but, if you join RCIA be orthodox and share the fullness of the faith.

            I used to be a catechist before I became a theology teacher but to be a catechist in La La Land (The Archdiocese of Los Angeles) is not easy,

          5. I definitely see the truth in what you’re saying. My MIL recently went through RCIA in upstate New York. She has some… odd ideas. (My husband is also a convert, but was blessed to go through RCIA in one of the more conservative parishes in the diocese of Arlington… 😀

          6. chris scanlan says:

            Ellen, I’ve recently moved into NOVA and I’m still haven’t made a decision on a parish. Do you have any recommendations for a “more conservative” parish in the area?

          7. My data is several years old, but we loved Queen of Apostles in Alexandria and Our Lady of Angels in Woodbridge, if either of those would work for your location. I’m sure there are many others that are fantastic, but those are the two with which I have good personal experience.

          8. chris scanlan says:

            Those parishes are a bit out of the way, but now I know to go visit them from time to time! Thanks!

          9. abadilla says:

            Isn’t it a shame that one has to move to a “conservative” parish to get the real RCIA? The fact is, whether the parish is liberal or conservative should have no bearing in the RCIA imparting the fullness of the faith.

  4. As if his strong support for immigration reform and his pro-life credentials weren’t enough of a reason to like him, now I’ve got another reason to put Rubio at the top of my list of 2016 presidential contenders!

    1. abadilla says:

      I also like him very much and I’m absolutely sick of the big deal the media has made of his drinking water, only to obscure what he actually said.

  5. Jennifer Hartline says:

    Enough with the stupid water references already. Your “joke” isn’t helping. Rubio deserves respect.

    1. Gee, that’s pretty petty. In the spirit of Lent, consider being charitable towards Joshua Mercer.

  6. David Elsey says:

    Beware of strings attached to federal money, even if the government is only letting you keep your own via tax credit!

    1. abadilla says:

      I agree. I work in a Catholic high school and it is expensive for most families, but the government can’t tell us what to do. If the government provides vouchers, many families who cannot afford a Catholic education will be able to do so, but, the problem would be the government dictating to a Catholic school it can’t be Catholic.

      1. tranxtian says:

        You work in a catholic achool? You post all hours of the day and night. I can’t imagine that you work much at all.

        1. abadilla says:

          What time I post is none of your business. I can walk and chew at the same time.

          1. Catholic Alcoholic says:

            ha ha ha! love this abadilla. love your response!

          2. abadilla says:

            Thank you. Some of these folks get irritated at me because they want to come into a Catholic forum, call us bigots and insensitive because we are against abortion, gay marriage, euthanasia, and because we don’t support a President who is 100% pro-abortion and is violating our religious freedom persecuting us with the HH Mandate. They want us to “remain” siltent as they rail against the Church everytime they can. When we defend the Church, suddely we lack charity and we are not good Catholics, this from a crowd as anti- Catholic as it gets. These folks give new meaning to the word “hypocrite.”

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