Jesse Ventura on School Choice
Erase the word voucher from the vocabulary
“I want to erase the word voucher from the vocabulary,” were Governor Ventura’s words in his first State of the State address. By these words, he focused the responsibility for delivering results
squarely on every parent, every teacher, every administrator, and every school board member in Minnesota to do what is right for every child. The K-12 initiatives will involve numerous agencies in new discussions of how to improve student achievement.
Source: The Big Plan: Healthy, Vital Communities
Dec 10, 2000
Public dollars belong to public schools
We eliminated the word “vouchers” from our vocabulary. Public dollars belong to public schools. We’ve fought to uphold a controversial set of high standards that redefines what it means
to be educated. We insisted that students need to pass high stakes standards in order to prove they have learned something.
Source: Speech to Education Commission of the States
Jul 10, 2000
Loosen federal control; leave more to state & locals
The federal government needs to leave more of the management of public schools up to state and local governments. A rubber-stamp, “franchise” approach to schooling simply doesn’t work. What works best for one school district isn’t necessarily going to
work best for another. The federal government needs to loosen its control of public schools and leave more of the decision making up to local teachers and administrators, who have firsthand knowledge of what their students need.
Source: Ain’t Got Time To Bleed, p. 29
Jan 1, 1999
Neighborhoods shouldn’t abandon their public schools
[When I considered moving to Hollywood, I was told], “You put your kids in private school.” I thought, “I’m not living in a place where my kids have to go to private school.” I’m not knocking private schools, but I owe it to my kids to let them grow up
in a place where private school isn’t required. They’re only in school 6-8 hours a day; they have to live in their neighborhood 24 hours a day. I didn’t want them growing up in a place where anybody with the means had abandoned their public schools.
Source: Ain’t Got Time To Bleed, p.183-4
Jan 1, 1999
Public schools are inefficient; but fix them, don’t end them
I am a proud product of the Minnesota public school system. Instead of giving families vouchers, tax credits or deductions to help their children get into private schools, I believe we should be supporting our public school systems. A recent survey
showed that 72% of the respondents preferred improving public schools to vouchers. 21% wanted vouchers and 7% were unsure. When a good system becomes inefficient or ineffective, the best solution is not necessarily to just get rid of the system.
The best solution is to identify the problem areas and promptly implement solutions to fix them. Instead of bashing our public school system, we should be identifying what works and why it works. We should then be copying
or adapting that solution in the problem areas. If the parents, businesses and communities all work together to support our teachers and schools, we can conquer the problems.
Source: 1998 campaign web site, jesseVentura.org/98campaign
Nov 1, 1998
Choosing private school includes responsility to pay
Q: Do you favor charter schools, vouchers and private sector involvement in schools?
A: I grew up in South Minneapolis and am a product of the public school system. I believe in supporting the public schools. If individuals don’t want to go to the
public schools, they have the choice to go to private schools. But it is their responsibility to pay for that option, not taxpayers.
I place much of the blame that falls on the public schools today on the parents. If your kid is 12 or 13 years old and
doesn’t know how to read, where have the parents been? Why didn’t they figure out that their kid can’t read when the kid was in first or second grade? Why weren’t they in the schools doing something about it then, instead of blaming the schools now?
As Governor, I will say no to vouchers and no to public tax support for private schools. I will work to strengthen the public schools. And I will work to get parents more involved in the education of their kids.
Source: E-Democracy Debate
Feb 10, 1998