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Majority Leader Eric Cantor: School Choice Is a Threat to the Status Quo

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) speaks at a Brookings Brown Center on Education Policy event to launch the third edition of the Education Choice and Competition Index (ECC). (Paul Morigi photo)

"School choice is a threat to the status quo," House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) said yesterday at an event at Brookings to unveil the third annual Education Choice and Competition Index (ECCI).

During the event, hosted by the Brown Center on Education Policy, Leader Cantor, citing the ECCI, claimed that "America is in the midst of an education revolution, with a shift towards more choice for families," a shift he said is important because:

[America] cannot be a great country without great schools. I think education, in so many ways, represents the answer to not only the kids' futures, but the future of those communities, the future competitiveness of our country, and … future success in trying to lift folks out of poverty.

"School choice is about making sure every student … can have the best teachers in the best possible school environment," Cantor continued, emphasizing that school choice is most important for America’s urban areas where "only half of public high school students graduate on time."

According to Leader Cantor, the problem with the federal government's approach to addressing issues within the education system has centered around two main beliefs: "Spend more money" and "Give more control to Washington."

Since the mid-1960s, the federal government has spent billions of dollars to improve schools in low-income areas, with little to no effect. … School choice programs are experiencing this kind of expansion for one very simple reason: They work. They deliver real and measureable results.

"It is my personal goal,"  he asserted that, "in ten years, every child in America will have education opportunity through school choice, no matter where they live."

Senior Fellow Grover "Russ" Whitehurst, director of the Brown Center, introduced the majority leader and moderated the discussion that followed.

Get more information about the Education Choice and Competition Index (ECCI) from the Brown Center on Education Policy.

Rachel Waddick contributed to this post.

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