Let the record distortion begin?

Got a call from a constituent that was told that Ann and I receive government assistance for home schooling our children. Here’s the answer:

Thank you so much for allowing me to clarify information that you have received. We do not receive any funds for homeschooling our children. Ann and I have three children that have been home schooled in the past. Next year we plan to combine classes at New Covenant School and homeschooling to meet our children’s needs. We do, however, pay our fair share of Federal, State, and local taxes, yet our children do not receive any benefit.

I did cast a related vote in the Senate in 2007 that would give parents with children trapped in failing schools more options. The amendment applied to children this situation: The child must attend a failing school and a neighboring passing school did not have room for the child. In this circumstance, the child would be eligible for a voucher to attend a private school. Unfortunately, this amendment did not pass and our children attending failing schools have no option but to stay in this school.

I would like to give you my general views on education issues. I firmly believe that parents are the primary educators of their children, and government should help, not hinder, parents from fulfilling their role. Unfortunately, most parents do not have the ability to make the most important decision regarding their child’s education—the decision of where their child attends school.

Parents are aware of the educational needs of their children more than anyone else, and I am committed to working in the S.C. Senate to give parents more education options, including the ability to decide whether their child attends a public, public charter, private or home school. Giving parents a full range of school options will not only help their children, it will also create greater competition in the education marketplace, thus improving all the schools in the area.

I am also committed to release teachers from overly burdensome regulations in our education system. Teachers also deserve the freedom to teach in a disciplined classroom. Reducing regulation and administration costs will free up funds and get them where they are needed—the classroom. Late in the session of 2008, we were successful in eliminating the PACT, overly burdensome testing that serve little purpose for our teachers and students.