Tags: Trump Administration | America's Forum | Phillip Stutts | school choice | 2016 | republicans

Phillip Stutts: School Choice 'Going to Play Heavily' in 2016

By    |   Wednesday, 28 Jan 2015 12:19 PM

School choice will be a key issue in the 2106 presidential election, particularly among Republicans vying for the job, GOP strategist Phillip Stutts said Wednesday on Newsmax TV's "America's Forum."

"If you look, there are really two governors that have standout records when it comes to educational reform — that would be (Wisconsin Gov.) Scott Walker and Gov. (Bobby) Jindal in Louisiana who will probably look to run," said Stutts.

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"So if the Republicans need to grow their base among Hispanics, among African-Americans, they are leading way out ahead of Democrats, union leaders and some of the black caucus members around the country on this issue, and it's going to play very heavily in the primary and in the general election."

School choice refers to a variety of programs that allow alternatives to public schools through the use of things like vouchers, education savings accounts, tax-credit scholarships, and individual tax credits.

Convincing voters of the benefits of school choice will be an easy sell, particularly for governors since they are the ones proposing or implementing it, according to Stutts, who doled out high praise for Jindal.

"The governor has an incredible record on school choice," he said. "They have 7,600 low-income, mostly African-American kids in the voucher program in the whole state of Louisiana. That's going to grow again this year.

"There is an incredible willingness among families, especially low-income African-American families that want this, that are begging for this."

Jindal and Walker have established records showing how they've "improved and changed lives," Stutts said.

School choice can also offer a way to "bridge the gap" between die-hard anti-amnesty Republicans and Hispanic voters, he said.

"We are seeing more and more Hispanic families coming in to voucher programs and educational reform opportunities around the country," he said. "It is a way for Republicans to bridge the gap if they have a hard-line stance, especially when it comes to border issues.

"That is a nuanced message that they're going to have to work on, but the school choice message resonates and it is played very powerfully from the efforts we've worked on all over the country over the last 10 years."

To differentiate themselves from Democrats who favor school choice, Republicans must focus on school choice bills that are revenue neutral or that save government money, according to Stutts.

"You're taking out kids from failing public schools and you're putting them in better schools, private schools," Stutts said. "You have more educational opportunity. That message in it of itself, there's an emotional message that you can play here. There's also a fiscal message that you can play here."

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School choice will be a key issue in the 2106 presidential election, particularly among Republicans vying for the job, GOP strategist Phillip Stutts said Wednesday on Newsmax TV's "America's Forum."
Phillip Stutts, school choice, 2016, republicans
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2015-19-28
Wednesday, 28 Jan 2015 12:19 PM
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