Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Marco Rubio (R-FL) delivered opening remarks and questioned witnesses at a hearing on countering China’s influence in the United States. Watch Rubio’s opening remarks here as well as Part I and Part II of...
Approximately 302,000 Americans live with spinal cord injuries. To help these people achieve a better quality of life, there is a need to increase education and invest in research. U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) successfully led a bipartisan...
Foreign investment is one of the legal means that adversaries, like China, can use to collect Americans’ data, exasperating both privacy and national security risks. To counter this, U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Raphael Warnock (D-GA) reintroduced the...
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined Special Report with Bret Baier to discuss the impending government shutdown, the possibility of a Saudi-Israeli normalization deal, and the indictment of Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ). See below for highlights and watch the full...
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced three additions to the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) Entity List. These are the first additions by the Biden Administration since June. U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), author of the bipartisan...
Congress should think before it regulates AI U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) September 26, 2023 Washington Times To prevent next-generation computer programs from wreaking havoc on American society, [some members of Congress want] to enact comprehensive regulation at...
Rubio: Why I am fighting for school choice, a lifeline for low-income kids
Parents everywhere share a common dream: we all want our children to have the chance at a life better than our own. This has propelled the progress of our nation and has become an essential part of the American Dream. To give children this chance, every parent should be given the right to choose the learning environment that best fits their child’s unique needs.
In the 21st century, the definition of “public education” is changing rapidly. It used to mean giving school districts all the taxpayer dollars raised to educate kids, and letting the districts assign children to public schools according to zip code. Fortunately, we are moving to a new definition: letting parents direct taxpayer funds—with proper accountability—to different providers, even different delivery methods.
Last year in my home state of Florida, over 40% of children educated with taxpayer funds didn’t attend their zoned public school. They attended district run magnet schools, charter schools, virtual schools and dual enrollment programs with colleges. This customization has enabled Florida to have great achievement gains for its lower-income and minority children over the last decade.
For 13 years, Florida’s Tax Credit Scholarship Program has played a critical role in this progress. The program provides tax credits to companies that donate to scholarship-granting organizations. It’s been so successful in Florida that I used it as a model for federal legislation I’ve introduced.
Today roughly 68,000 low-income parents use the program to send their child to a school that better fits his or her unique learning needs. Test scores show that these children were the lowest performers in their public schools when they left but now see learning gains equal to children of all incomes.
Incredibly, in spite of this clear success, the Florida teachers union and the Florida School Boards Association filed suit in August to shut down the program.
Should the suit succeed, these 68,000 needy children – 70% of which are either African-American, or of Hispanic or Haitian descent – will be evicted from their chosen schools. Further, hundreds of private schools in Florida serving minority children will be forced to close their doors.
Although this is happening in Florida, it should concern all parents across the entire country who want and deserve the freedom and opportunity to give their kids better education options.
It is also not some abstract legal case. These are real people.
I’ve personally visited some of these schools and talked to parents and children whose lives have been touched by this program. I’m outraged that unions have put their own wants over the needs of these children and families.
The teachers union claims to be suing to end the program because funding has “reached a tipping point.”
But that simply isn’t true. The program represents less than 2% of our state’s K-12 budget, and it actually saves taxpayers over $50 million every year.
The real reason the union wants to shut the program down is simple: it doesn’t like having to compete with private schools for lower-income students.
Keep reading here.