According to their Platform, Where do the Republicans Stand on Public Education

The 2008 Republican Party Platform, as presented to the Republican convention is available at:

The education section is on pages 43-46.  Here are some excerpts from it and following those, excerpts from a few other sections that address our issues.

It has no direct mention about NCLB.  It supports private school vouchers, home schooling, merit pay, and principals having authority over teacher assignment without regard to collective bargaining.  It does support full funding for IDEA. It also calls for a one-year freeze on all domestic discretionary spending programs.  It also supports voluntary school prayer and the right of faith-based organizations to receive federal funds and be able to discriminate on the basis of religion in hiring.

Education Means a More Competitive America

·       Education is a parental right, a state and local responsibility, and a national strategic interest.

·       We advocate policies and methods that are proven and effective: building on the basics, especially phonics; ending social promotion; merit pay for good teachers; classroom discipline; parental involvement; and strong leadership by principals.

·       We advocate policies and methods that are proven and effective: building on the basics, especially phonics; ending social promotion; merit pay for good teachers; classroom discipline; parental involvement; and strong leadership by principals.

·       We support state efforts to build coordination between elementary and secondary education and higher education such as K-16 councils and dual credit programs.

·       we support the English First approach and oppose divisive programs that limit students’ future potential.

·       School districts must have the authority to recruit, reward, and retain the best and brightest teachers, and principals must have the authority to select and assign teachers without regard to collective bargaining agreements.

·       Partnerships between schools and businesses can be especially important in STEM subjects: science, technology, engineering and math.

·       We support choice in education for all families, especially those with children trapped in dangerous and failing schools, whether through charter schools, vouchers or tax credits for attending faith-based or other nonpublic schools, or the option of home schooling.

·       We will energetically assert the right of students to engage in voluntary prayer in schools and to have equal access to school facilities for religious purposes.

·       We renew our call for replacing “family planning” programs for teens with increased funding for abstinence education, which teaches abstinence until marriage as the responsible and expected standard of behavior

·       We call for a review of Department of Education programs and administration to identify and eliminate ineffective programs, to respect the role of states, and to better meet state needs.

·       we support initiatives to block-grant more Department of Education funding to the states,

·       Because a federal mandate on the states must include the promised federal funding, we will fulfill the promise of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to cover 40 percent of the costs incurred because of that legislation.

·       We must ensure that our higher education system meet the needs of the 21st century student and economy and remain innovative and accessible.

·       While federal student loans and grants have opened doors to learning for untold numbers of low and middle-income students, the overall financial aid system, with its daunting forms and confused rationales, is nothing less than Byzantine. It must be simplified.

·       Distance learning propelled by an expanding telecommunications sector and especially broadband, is certain to grow in importance “” whether through public or private institutions “” and federal law should not discriminate against the latter.

·       Community colleges are central to the future of higher education, especially as they build bridges between the world of work and the classroom

·       We oppose the hiring, firing, tenure, and promotion practices at universities that discriminate on the basis of political or ideological belief.

·       We affirm the right of students and faculty to express their views in the face of the leftist dogmatism that dominates many institutions.

The Budget Process “” A Fraud that Guarantees Runaway Spending

·       We call for a one-year pause in nondefense, non-veterans discretionary spending to force a critical, cost-benefit review of all current programs.

·       We favor adoption of the Balanced Budget Amendment to require a balanced federal budget except in time of war.

Preserving the District of Columbia

·       Two major Republican initiatives “” a first-time D.C. homebuyers credit and a landmark school choice initiative “” have pointed the way toward a civic resurgence,

Protecting Union Workers

·       To protect workers from misuse of their funds, we will conscientiously enforce federal law requiring financial reporting and transparency by labor unions. We advocate paycheck protection laws to guard the integrity of the political process and the security of workers’ earnings.

Health Care Reform: Putting Patients First

·       Republicans support the private practice of medicine and oppose socialized medicine in the form of a government- run universal health care system.

·       To empower families, we must make insurance more affordable and more secure, and give employees the option of owning coverage that is not tied to their job.

Protecting Our Families

·       Bureaucracy is no longer a credible approach to helping those in need. This is especially true in light of alternatives such as faith-based organizations, which tend to have a greater degree of success than others in dealing with problems such as substance abuse and domestic violence. To accomplish their missions, those groups must be able to rely upon people who share their faith; their hiring must not be subjected to government regulation and mandates.

Preserving Our Values

·       Precisely because we oppose discrimination, we reject preferences, quotas, and set-asides, whether in education or in corporate boardrooms.

Safeguarding Religious Liberties

·       We support the right of students to engage in student-initiated, student-led prayer in public schools, athletic events, and graduation ceremonies, when done in conformity with constitutional standards.

·       We affirm every citizen’s right to apply religious values to public policy and the right of faith-based organizations to participate fully in public programs without renouncing their beliefs, removing religious objects or symbols, or becoming subject to government-imposed hiring practices.