Education is a local and state issue, not a federal matter, Sen. Tim Scott says.
In a wide-ranging conversation Wednesday with Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts on “The Kevin Roberts Show” podcast, the South Carolina Republican discussed the government’s problematic near-monopoly on education, why taxes should be lowered, and how to have joy in all circumstances, among other things. (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.)
“I don’t want the federal government running local education,” Scott said. “But I do want us to encourage competition and the 50 laboratories of democracy to go to work. And if we can, through some tax credit on your federal taxes, help local schools who already have programs to have more resources come into those jurisdictions, I think that’s a good thing.”
The federal government has all but a monopoly on education, lowering its quality. The solution, Scott said, is simple.
“Find competition for the monopoly, and by having competition to the monopoly, the price comes down. The [test] scores go up,” he said.
Charter schools demonstrate that education needs competition. Charter schools in Scott’s home state of South Carolina provide parents and students with better opportunities and inspire public schools to keep up.
Scott said every parent wants his or her child to have a good education. Schools should teach the ABCs, not CRT, or critical race theory, the South Carolina lawmaker said, and students also should learn financial literacy. Children in every ZIP code should have access to quality education, he added.
“In America, the closest thing to magic is a good education,” Scott said, noting that a good economy makes good education possible.
If we believe limited government is best, we should not continue growing a bigger and more intrusive federal government, he added.
“We have to make sure that we carve out conservatism in such a way that we carve in common sense,” said the South Carolina senator, 57, who is nearing the end of his second six-year term in the Senate.
Scott said America needs an incentives-based economy.
“If we create the right incentives in our economy,” the senator said, “we’ll get the right results.”
We are in the midst of an economic crisis and a crisis of truth, Scott said, adding that America needs mature leadership.
“We need folks who are not focusing on each other, ourselves as leaders, but people who are focusing on the problem and who it affects the most,” he said. “If you’re called to lead, you’re called to serve. And when you serve, you don’t make it about you.”
Scott, who grew up in a fatherless home and poverty in Charleston, encouraged Americans not to give way to despair about the troubles facing America, but to have joy.
“When you grew up in a single-parent household mired in poverty, there are lots of reasons not to be filled with joy,” he said. “If you misunderstand the definition of joy, circumstances around you may make it less likely that you’ll be happy, but the truth is, joy comes from the inside.”
Scott said his joy comes from his relationship with the Lord, and he does not know where he would be without it.
“The desire of my heart is to model the behavior that comes with Scripture, because ultimately, it’s not about presidents,” he said. “It’s about the King of kings and the Lord of lords.”
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