|To the reader:
Attached is one of my campaign's four White Papers on major issues, this one dealing with the issue of education.
Public education in America is an absolute disgrace. Test scores have been falling for fifteen years. The schools are racked with violence and political conflict. Costs soar as performance declines.
In the face of this sorry record, what have my opponents proposed? Jimmy Carter boasts of increasing the cost and centralization of education by creating the Department of Education. John Anderson has consistently supported increased federal spending and control. And Ronald Reagan, as Governor of California, dramatically increased state spending and centralization of education.
The problems of our public schools demand a more fundamental approach. These problems are inherent in the compulsory nature of government education. The answer is not higher taxes or more spending or more federal programs. The answer is to open up the system to give all students--especially those from poor families--an opportunity to choose decent alternatives to the public schools.
I'm proposing an education tax credit that will give that opportunity to every American student.
I think this is the kind
of bold new program our educational system needs. I challenge
my opponents to offer an alternative.