Mike Pence on Education

Republian nominee for Vice President; Governor of Indiana; former Representative (IN-6)


We will give school choice to every family in America

We need a president who knows how Congress works, how the White House works, how states work. And on this education issue, Martha, I was fighting against No Child Left Behind when Republicans were doubling the Department of Education. I will also shut down the federal Department of Education. And when I was governor, we doubled the size of the largest school choice program in America, and we will give school choice to every family in America when I'm in the White House.
Source: Fox News 2023 Republican primary debate in Milwaukee , Aug 23, 2023

There was racial inequity in education system; no longer

Q: You do not believe there is racial inequity in the education system in America?

PENCE: I really don't believe there is. I believe there was. There may have been a time when affirmative action was necessary simply to open the doors of all of our schools and universities, but I think that time has passed. I really believe that the accomplishments of America's students, particularly our minority students, tells us that we've opened those doors and I'm confident those doors will remain open.

Source: CBS Face the Nation on 2023 Presidential hopefuls , Jul 2, 2023

Student loan forgiveness not about helping the middle class

The majority of people that would have benefited from this student loan forgiveness are people with multiple graduate degrees. So you're going to say to working Americans, to truck drivers, to people working in the trades, 'we're going to take your taxes and pay down a part of the student debt of doctors and lawyers and Ph.D.s.' It's just- it, nothing could be further than the truth. This was not about the middle class.
Source: CBS Face the Nation on 2023 Presidential primary hopefuls , Jul 2, 2023

Public schools can compete with our private schools

For a very long time, I have believed that parents ought to be able to choose where their children go to school, public, private, parochial or homeschool. I actually think by letting parents choose where their kids go to school, all the schools are going to get better. I have confidence that our public schools can compete with our private schools, and they will be more responsive to the goals and the values of the people of their community when they have to compete for those students.
Source: CNN Town Hall: interviews of 2024 presidential candidates , Jun 7, 2023

COVID: Don't want CDC guidance on school reopenings

CDC's guidelines for schools to consider encourage teachers and students to stay home when possible, mitigating the contact between students and teachers who might be at a higher risk from COVID-19. Pence was blunt in dismissing those guidelines in favor of a quick reopening. 'To be very clear, we don't want CDC guidance to be a reason why people don't reopen their schools,' he said." [4WWL-TV, 7/14/20]
Source: Trump Research Book on Mike Pence , Sep 22, 2020

No federal pre-K grant, but pre-K voucher for neediest

[On Pre-K funding]: "A Pence spokeswoman, Christy Denault, told the Star that Pence was concerned about additional conditions that come with federal grants. Advocates seeking the grant have estimated it could have helped Indiana serve up to 2,000 more children from low-income families, the Star reported. The grant application also would have targeted millions of dollars toward improving the state's pre-K infrastructure." [Associated Press State & Local, 10/17/14]

"Pence said he will work with the General Assembly to propose a prekindergarten voucher program for Indiana's neediest families. He said the program would be voluntary and be usable for the school year or summer preceding kindergarten at public or private providers. Families with household incomes up to 185 percent of the federal poverty level, which for a family of four is $43,567, would be eligible." [Evansville Courier & Press, 12/6/13]

Source: Trump Research Book on Mike Pence , Sep 22, 2020

Budget proposes more money for private school vouchers

["Pence has suggested an increase in school funding in his budget proposal. But, there is a catch: Most of that would go to private school vouchers and charter schools. Reported The Associated Press, 'It would give $1,500 more per student for charter sch
Source: Trump Research Book on Mike Pence , Sep 22, 2020

Give parents right to choose: public, private, parochial

With four more years, we will give every parent in America the right to choose where their children go to school: public, private, parochial, or homeschool.
Source: Remarks by V.P. Pence at the 2020 CPAC Conference , Feb 27, 2020

Pro-voucher so parents decide how to educate their kids

Each year since his election, Pence has spoken at an annual school choice rally, affirming his support for publicly funded vouchers to pay private school tuition for low- & middle-income families and for charter schools. "Children in this state ought to be afforded opportunities for quality education. Those decisions should be made in the best interests of our kids, and those decisions should be made by parents." Pence has pushed to expand charter schools & vouchers, with some legislative wins in 2015.
Source: ChalkBeat.org on 2016 Indiana gubernatorial race , Jul 15, 2016

Replaced Common Core with state-standards version

Indiana was quick to adopt, and quickest to drop, Common Core state standards, pleasing no one with final results. Indiana was one of the first of 44 states to adopt the Common Core state standards in 2010, and it was the first state to "turn its back" on the standards in 2014.

Pence pushed for the adoption of new standards that were "identical or nearly the same" as Common Core, leading to rapid standards and testing changes that left educators and students in a state of confusion. Pence earned praise for getting rid of Common Core, but the cheers subsided when drafts of the new standards were released. Critics complained that many of the standards were identical or nearly the same as Common Core standards--more than 70% by one accounting. But those backing Common Core weren't celebrating either. Just enough Common Core principles had been removed that supporters of the standards consider Indiana's proposal little more than a watered down version.

Source: Media Matters, "What Media Should Know," on 2016 Veepstakes , Jul 14, 2016

Incentivize teaching as a career

This year let's find ways to make teaching more attractive and do our part to encourage more Hoosiers to pursue careers in education. That is why I am so enthusiastic about Speaker Bosma's Next Generation Scholarship that would cover up to $7,500 per year in tuition for students who are in the top 20 percent of their class and commit to teaching in Indiana for at least five years.
Source: 2016 State of the State speech to Indiana legislature , Jan 12, 2016

Testing regime needs to be improved

Accountability is important, but testing must be reliable and the results fairly applied. Let's take a step back from ISTEP and improve on the test we use to measure our kids and schools every year. Let's also take action to ensure that our teachers and schools are treated fairly with the results of the latest ISTEP test. I promise you we will make sure the 2015 test scores fairly reflect the performance of our schools and will not affect teacher bonuses or compensation.
Source: 2016 State of the State speech to Indiana legislature , Jan 12, 2016

Connect high school grads with vocational ed OR college

We need to do all we can to make sure our homegrown talent has the skills needed for tomorrow's economy. That is why we launched 11 regional Works Councils this year, with the responsibility for answering this question: What should the career and vocational educational curriculum look like, to connect high school graduates with promising jobs in this community? By next year we will have curricula in our high schools and new business-driven partnerships.

While anyone who wants to go to college should, there are a lot of jobs in Indiana with great upward mobility prospects that don't require a college degree. These new partnerships will make this work for all Hoosiers. To ensure we succeed, I am proposing legislation that will conduct an in-depth, return-on-investment assessment of how our career & technical education dollars are being spent across the state. We need to know what the results are, and whether local vocational education facilities and faculty are being used as they should.

Source: Introduction of 2014 Jobs & Economy Agenda , Dec 17, 2013

Fight for local control and responsibility of education

Our children are Indiana's future, and they deserve every opportunity to be prepared for the challenges of tomorrow. Unfortunately, in many areas, our schools are letting them down.

As I visit with teachers, administrators and parents, they ask me to fight for real education reform. They did not send me to Washington to increase the federal government's role in their lives. They sent me to fight for innovation and reform by funneling resources, not red tape, from the federal government to our local schools.

I support empowering parents with school choice. Every child must have the opportunity to pursue the American dream. Forcing them to attend failing schools robs them of this chance. Further, I firmly believe parents are much better positioned than bureaucrats to determine which schools their children should attend. Because of these convictions, as a public servant and a parent, I will continue to fight for local control and responsibility of education.

Source: House of Representatives website mikepence.house.gov , Jan 8, 2012

Eliminate "No Child Left Behind" K-12 testing requirements

Source: Congressional Indiana 2008 Political Courage Test , Nov 1, 2008

Let schools display the words "God Bless America".

Pence co-sponsored a Congressional Resolution on support for the Nation:

Title: Expressing the sense of the Congress that public schools may display the words "God Bless America" as an expression of support for the Nation.

Source: House Resolution Sponsorship 01-HCR248 on Oct 12, 2001

Rated 17% by the NEA, indicating anti-public education votes.

Pence scores 17% by the NEA on public education issues

The National Education Association has a long, proud history as the nation`s leading organization committed to advancing the cause of public education. Founded in 1857 `to elevate the character and advance the interests of the profession of teaching and to promote the cause of popular education in the United States,` the NEA has remained constant in its commitment to its original mission as evidenced by the current mission statement:

To fulfill the promise of a democratic society, the National Education Association shall promote the cause of quality public education and advance the profession of education; expand the rights and further the interest of educational employees; and advocate human, civil, and economic rights for all.
In pursuing its mission, the NEA has determined that it will focus the energy and resources of its 2.7 million members toward the `promotion of public confidence in public education.` The ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.
Source: NEA website 03n-NEA on Dec 31, 2003

Constitutionally guarantee parent's right to educate kids.

Pence co-sponsored Parental Rights Amendment

    Resolved that the following article is proposed as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which shall be valid when ratified by 3/4 of the several States within seven years:
  1. The liberty of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children is a fundamental right.
  2. Neither the United States nor any State shall infringe upon this right without demonstrating that its governmental interest as applied to the person is of the highest order and not otherwise served.
  3. No treaty may be adopted nor shall any source of international law be employed to supersede, modify, interpret, or apply to the rights guaranteed by this article.
Source: H.J.RES.3 11-HJR03 on Jan 5, 2011

Other candidates on Education: Mike Pence on other issues:
2024 Republican Presidential Candidates:
Gov. Doug Burgum (R-ND)
Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ)
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL)
Larry Elder (R-CA;withdrew)
Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC)
Rep. Will Hurd (R-FL;withdrew)
Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR)
Perry Johnson (R-IL)
Mayor Steve Laffey (R-RI)
Former V.P.Mike Pence (R-IN;withdrew)
Vivek Ramaswamy (R-OH)
Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC)
Secy. Corey Stapleton (R-MT)
Mayor Francis Suarez (R-FL;withdrew)
Former Pres.Donald Trump (R-NY)

2024 Democratic and 3rd-party primary candidates:
Pres. Joe Biden (D-DE)
V.P.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (I-NY)
Chase Oliver (L-GA)
Rep.Dean Phillips (D-MN)
Jill Stein (Green)
Cornel West (Green Party)
Kanye West (Birthday Party)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
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