Donald Trump laid out a $20 billion initiative to bust up a federal "education monopoly," accusing Democrats of having "trapped" black and Hispanic children in "failing government schools."
In a speech in Cleveland, and on his website, Trump vowed to support school choice and merit pay for teachers.
"Our campaign represents the long-awaited chance to break with the bitter failures of the past and to embrace a new and strong American future," Trump said, the Washington Examiner reports.
"There's no failed policy more in need of change than our government-run education monopoly and you know that's exactly what it is."
The Democratic Party has "trapped millions of African-American and Hispanic youth in failing government schools that deny them the opportunity to join the ladder of American success," he told the crowd, according to the Examiner.
"It's time to break up that monopoly," Trump said. "I want every single inner city child in America who is today trapped in a failing school to have the freedom, the civil right to attend the school of their choice."
He said the choices should cover private, traditional public, magnet and charter schools.
"It's simply a matter of putting students first, not the education bureaucracy," he said, the Examiner reports.
And if elected, Trump said he would "use the pulpit of the presidency" to campaign for school choice across the country, promising to visit all 50 states where he would urge local, state and federal lawmakers to join him in making it a "shared national mission," the Examiner reports.
He also railed at the "failed tenure system that currently exists" for teachers, saying his plan will boost merit pay for teachers.
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