The Book of Ron Paul
1997 Ron Paul Chapter 96

Helping Empower Low-Income Parents (HELP) Scholarships Amendments Of 1997

4 November 1997

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Congressional Record (Page H9947)   Cached

Mr. RIGGS. Mr. Speaker, I yield a minute and a half to the gentleman from Texas [Mr. PAUL].
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Texas is recognized for 90 seconds.

1997 Ron Paul 96:1
Mr. PAUL. I ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks.

1997 Ron Paul 96:2
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Without objection.

1997 Ron Paul 96:3
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this legislation. I have been on the education committee now for 10 months, and I have not yet heard any Member stand up and brag about the public school system. Everybody seems to be critical of the system, and everybody has suggestions on what we can do.

1997 Ron Paul 96:4
I think the problem with the school system has definitely gotten worse since we have gained control of the public school system at the national level. There is pretty good evidence to this, and I think a new program and new expenditures up here will not do the trick. This program, however, does not fall into that category.

1997 Ron Paul 96:5
I believe that the States ought to have the right to set up one of these programs where scholarships can be offered. This is quite a bit different than mandating and dictating a brand new program and new appropriations. So I think this is a step in the right directions.

1997 Ron Paul 96:6
We should not be fearful of choice; we should not be fearful of competition. If we’re serious about education, I think we should get beyond equating good education with the school lunch program. I can’t quite see the analogy of saying a good lunch is equivalent to good education.

1997 Ron Paul 96:7
But, more Federal programs will not solve the problem, and I believe very sincerely that if we allow some choice and if we allow some competition, we might see some improvement.

1997 Ron Paul 96:8
I do not believe this program is going to solve the problem of our educational system. We have serious structural problems. Some day we will have to look at the history of the public school system and look to the time when the public schools worked much better with local control and local financing.

1997 Ron Paul 96:9
Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to express my support for H.R. 2746, the Helping Empower Low-Income Parents [HELP] Scholarships Amendments of 1997. The HELP Act allows States to use title VI funds for school voucher programs if the State has a voucher law. Nothing in this bill forces states to adapt a voucher program, states without voucher programs will not lose a penny of federal funds. HELP does not create a new federal program, nor does it provide a justification for an increase in federal education funds. Furthermore, this bill addresses the legitimate concerns that federally funded voucher programs will lead to state regulations of private schools by explicitly stating that receipt of these funds cannot be used as a reason for force religious schools to alter their curriculum, or force private schools to change their admission requirements. Additionally, participating private schools must only be in compliance with state regulations in effect one year prior to passage of the HELP Act.

1997 Ron Paul 96:10
Under 10th amendment to the Constitution, the question of whether or not to fund private-school voucher programs is a left solely to the state and localities. However, congressional activism has undermined state and local control of education as the federal education bureaucracy has grown increasingly powerful. Thus, many states now feel compelled to obey federal dictates and only engage in those education policies for which they can receive federal funds.

1997 Ron Paul 96:11
Individual states, localities and, in many cases, even private citizens cannot afford to support education programs without financial help from the federal government because of the oppressive tax burden imposed on the American people by this Congress! Congress then “returns” the money (minus a hefty federal “administrative” fee) to state governments and the American people to spend on federally approved purposes.

1997 Ron Paul 96:12
While the very existence of federal education programs and funding is an insult to the Constitution, and while the most effective education reform to entirely defund the federal education bureaucracy and return education funding to America’s parents through deep tax credits and tax cuts, the more options the federal government provides states, localities, and individuals in the use of federal education dollars the better. Mr. Speaker, authority for funding education belongs to the people and the states. We in Congress have no legal or moral justification for denying the people the right to pursue any education reform they believe will help America’s children—whether it is vouchers, charter schools, or statewide testing.

1997 Ron Paul 96:13
Mr. Speaker, my long-term goal remains the restoration of limited, constitutional government in all areas, including education. Until that goal is achieved, I will support measures, such as the one now before us, to give the states and the people as much control as possible over education dollars. After all, in the words of the pledge to abolish the IRS many of us signed last week, it is their money, not ours. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting H.R. 2746, the Helping Empower Low-Income Parents [HELP] Scholarships Amendments of 1997.


1997 Ron Paul 96:8
The spoken part ends at the end of this verse. The verses that follow were inserted in Congressional Record as an extension of Ron Paul’s remarks, and were not spoken on the House floor.

1997 Ron Paul 96:10
10th Amendment probably should be capitalized: 10th Amendment.

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