All children deserve the opportunity to receive a high-quality education with outstanding educators, regardless of their zip code or income level. Senator Toomey supports establishing education reforms that will live up to this vital goal.
A quality education system is essential to America's future, but it is clear that the quality of education in this country needs to be improved. Many of our students are lagging behind their counterparts in other developed countries. And, too often, children from low-income families are stuck in underperforming schools. This is unacceptable.
Senator Toomey believes that all children, regardless of their parents' income, deserve a quality education that will allow them to fulfill their potential. To achieve this goal, Senator Toomey supports common-sense reforms for primary and secondary education that will give parents more options and encourage schools to compete for students, raising the bar for all schools, public and private.
A school-choice program offers parents the flexibility to choose schools that accommodate their children's unique and individual educational needs regardless of their income. Many states and cities around the country have already implemented successful school-choice programs, resulting in increased test scores and graduation rates.
Charter schools offer another form of school choice, and Senator Toomey supports giving these alternative schools the flexibility they need to prosper. Though publicly funded, charter schools equip administrators with greater flexibility to lengthen classroom time, execute innovative teaching techniques and offer specialized educational curricula.
Senator Toomey co-sponsored the bipartisan Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Act of 2011 (S. 206), which provides lower-income D.C. parents greater choice in their children's schools and gives students a chance to receive a high-quality education if their public schools are inadequate. The Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Act was included in the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011, which President Obama signed into law in April 2011.
In 2013, Senator Toomey also led a group of 30 Senators in demanding answers from the Justice Department on why it sought to block 540 needy children from attending the schools of their choice. The Justice Department ended its effort shortly after.
Senator Toomey understands the challenges posed by the skyrocketing costs of college. Over the past two decades, tuition at public universities has risen 127% while tuition at private universities has grown by 70%. Senator Toomey voted for the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013 to prevent a sharp increase in interest rates for student loans.