Congressman Ron Paul on Home Schooling

By Rep. Ron Paul, MD.

The Covenant News ~ July 27, 2007

Dr. Ron Paul has been a consistent supporter of home schooling and educational freedom while serving in Congress. He has introduced several pieces of legislation which would return to parents the freedom to teach their children at home and in the manner they think best. Additionally, he has introduced bills that would provide tax credits for American families to help pay for education expenses. As President, Ron Paul will continue to fight for the rights of parents to provide their children with the knowledge and values they believe are most important.

"While serving in Congress, I have had the opportunity to get to know many of the home-schooling parents in my district. I am very impressed by the job these parents are doing in providing their children with a quality education. I have also found that home schooling parents are among the most committed activists in the cause of advancing individual liberty, constitutional government, and traditional values. I am sure my colleagues on the Education Committee would agree that the support of home schoolers was crucial in defeating the scheme to implement a national student test."

"Mr. Speaker, to be a home schooling parent takes a unique dedication to family and education. In many cases, home school families must forgo the second income of one parent, as well as incurring the costs of paying for textbooks, computers, and other school supplies. Home schooling parents must pay these expenses while, like all American families, struggling to pay state, local, and federal taxes." "In order to help home schoolers, and all parents, devote more of their resources to their children's education, I have introduced the Family Education Freedom Act (H.R. 935). This bill provides all parents a $3,000 per child tax credit for K-12 education expenses. This bill would help home school parents to provide their children a first-class education in a loving home environment."

"This bill will provide up to $3,000 in tax credits per child, per year, for every American family. Parents will be eligible for the tax credit whether their kids are in public schools, private schools, church schools, or are home schooled. The tax credit can apply toward items such as after-school tutoring, purchasing a computer and educational software, tuition and the cost of books and materials, and almost anything else which the parents believe will enhance their child's education."

"I am absolutely convinced that the key to an educationally prosperous nation is found not in a federal government program, but in the right of parents - consulting with teachers and local administrators - to effectively utilize their moral responsibility for their children. By so doing, we will foster a philosophy of independence, self-reliance, and local responsibility; a philosophy which will permeate our classrooms and our government."

"The reality, though, is that parents - not "well-meaning" politicians - know what options are best for their kids' education. Unfortunately, America has been saddled with a tax system which limits the ability of parents to pursue the academic options best suited for their children's individual situations. With combined taxes taking almost 50 percent of the average family's income, there is little left over for low- and middle-class parents to even consider other educational opportunities."

"One of my main goals in the 107th Congress is to return control over our children's education to parents and teachers in Texas and across America. Unfortunately, as the federal government continues to increase its influence over education, the role of parents and teachers becomes more and more limited. Over the last 30 years, this increased federal control has proven harmful to education standards while wasting taxpayer dollars.

I believe that parents and teachers can better educate our children than federal education bureaucrats and politicians. With that in mind, this week I will introduce my "Education Freedom Package." This education package consists of three bills designed to increase parental control over their children's education, increase teacher pay, and provide incentives for individuals to make contributions to local schools."

"The centerpiece of my education package is the "Family Education Freedom Act." This measure will give parents a $3,000 per-child per-year tax credit. The credit can apply to tuition, tutors, books, computers, and other related educational needs. It also applies equally to parents who choose to educate their children in public, private, or home settings. This tax cut is more effective than current voucher plans, which leave the door open to increased government influence on teacher standards and school curricula. Also, the tax credit takes no funding away from public schools."

"The second measure is the "Education Improvement Tax Cut," legislation allowing individuals to claim up to $3,000 per year in tax credits for cash or "in-kind" donations to schools and scholarship programs. The goal is to encourage people to set up scholarship funds for disadvantaged youth, and also become more involved with their local schools.

Finally, I will introduce the "Teacher Tax Cut Act." This measure grants all teachers a $1,000 tax credit, effectively raising their salary by $1,000 annually without increasing local or federal education spending. Last year, new teachers made an average of $10,000 less than other college graduates. With teachers often ranking at the bottom tier of professional pay, the federal government must recognize that teaching our youth is an honorable and important profession. Many others in Congress agree that teachers deserve this tax credit: the "Teacher Tax Cut Act" already has received bipartisan support from Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-North Carolina), Rep. Dan Miller (R-Florida), Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Georgia), Rep. Richard Baker (R-Louisiana), and Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Maryland)."

"Each time we are presented with a new education proposal from Washington, it involves another layer of harmful federal bureaucracy. No big-government spending program can or will solve our nation's education problems. One-size-fits-all programs simply do not work. I want to give parents the freedom to choose the best options for their children. I want teachers to know that their services are valuable to our nation without making them subservient to federal bureaucrats. And I want to encourage local residents to get involved with their local schools through educational programs and scholarship funds.

My agenda of returning control over education dollars to the American people is the best way to strengthen public education. These bills represent a common sense, pro-family approach that says "no" to more federal involvement in local education and "yes" to more parental and teacher involvement. I thank my colleagues for cosponsoring these important pieces of legislation, and I call on every member of Congress to support meaningful education reform which once again will make American education the envy of the world."

Ron Paul 2008
Presidential Campaign Committee
Phone: 703-248-9115
FAX: 703-248-9119

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