Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) delivered the keynote commencement address at Philadelphia’s Boys’ Latin of Philadelphia Charter School Monday, in which he promoted school choice initiatives he has long supported.
“The world beckons all of you forward to achieve great things,” Paul said during the speech. “But many students are being denied this opportunity by poor public schools. If we want to fix our nation’s schools, we need to embrace school choice.”
Paul added that he thinks “every student deserves those opportunities.”
“Schools like Boys’ Latin are not only a good example of the kind of quality education we should move toward, but your school should be a model for all of Philadelphia, and indeed, for the entire country,” Paul said.
“But today, I’m lucky to speak to a group of students who are not only an exception to the rule, but come from a school that produces exceptional students as a rule,” he continued. “Boys Latin is a great example of the kind of education I think we need to move toward, where parents can choose what kind of education their children receive, where parents can choose an education their children may not have otherwise had.”
According to a release from his campaign announcing the speech, Paul has long supported school choice proposals and has introduced a bill that would allow federal funding under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to follow children from low-income families to schools they choose to attend, including charter schools.
“Parents, and not Washington should have the ability to decide where their children can obtain the best possible education,” the release said.
National teachers’ unions such as the National Education Association the American Federation of Teachers oppose the types of reforms Paul proposes. “Vouchers divert funding from schools that serve the vast majority of students,” AFT protests.