Rand Paul Visits Milwaukee To Promote School Vouchers

Possible 2016 Presidential Candidate Says He Wants More Families To Qualify For Vouchers, Regardless Of Income

Sen. Rand Paul during the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference. Photo: Gage Skidmore (CC-BY-SA).

Possible 2016 presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, was at a Catholic School in Wisconsin on Wednesday promoting taxpayer-funded school vouchers, especially for Latino students.

Paul is a tea party favorite, and early in his visit to Saint Anthony Middle School in Milwaukee he offered a reminder of his anti-government views, pronouncing that “nobody in Washington knows a damn thing about education.”

Paul says he knows that vouchers provide choice and options for parents, and he’d like to see many more families qualify, regardless of income level.

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“People asked me this morning from the media, ‘Well, should it be limited to these people or those people? What should be the income limit? How big should it be? And I say the bigger the better,” said Paul.

Saint Anthony school officials say their student population is 99 percent Latino. Paul says his outreach to Hispanics on education is not inconsistent with his vote last year against a comprehensive immigration reform bill. He now wants a “trust, but verify” amendment.

“And in that amendment, Congress would vote each year and gradually keep enforcing the border,” said Paul. “But the process of normalizing people, getting them work visas, would be dependent on the border becoming more secure. And we wouldn’t give up that power to the executive; we’d keep it with Congress.”

State Democratic Party spokeswoman Melissa Baldauff says Paul is betting people aren’t wise enough to see through his mixed messages.

“He’s someone who says that the Republicans need to reach out to women, but then he votes against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act,” said Baldauff.

Baldauff says the school voucher expansions in Wisconsin have taken money from the public schools but not required enough accountability for the private ones.