Your Education Road Map

Politics K-12®

ESSA. Congress. State chiefs. School spending. Elections. Education Week reporters keep watch on education policy and politics in the nation’s capital and in the states. Read more from this blog.


Rand Paul Links Jeb Bush to Former President George W. Bush’s Edu-Record

By Alyson Klein — September 08, 2015 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

It’s nothing new for Sen. Rand Paul to hit his rival for the GOP nomination, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, for his support of Common Core State Standards.

But more recently, the Kentucky senator subtly linked Bush with a policy former President George W. Bush championed: the No Child Left Behind Act.

Here’s Paul on FoxNews over the weekend:

“I grew up in a Republican party that said education was a state and local issue. In fact, when Ronald Reagan ran in 1980 he said he wanted to get rid of the Department of Education. That was part of the Republican platform from 1980 to 2000. But then we got sort of more ‘Bush-type Republicans'; they actually doubled the size of the Department of Education, were in favor of things like common core ... and I think this is a mistake because I don’t want a national curriculum.”

Note the use of the last name there. “Bush type” Republicans clearly refers at least in part to the former president, since Jeb Bush, as governor of Florida, didn’t have much say over the federal role in education or the size of the Education Department. But it seems likely that Paul wants viewers to forget just which Bush he’s talking about, or wants to paint both brothers with the same brush when it comes to K-12 policy. This links Jeb Bush not just to common core, but to his brother’s marquee domestic achievement, the now very unpopular NCLB law.

And while we’re fact-checking, it’s worth noting that then-President Bush, who was elected in 2000, didn’t exactly double the size of the Education Department, although he did steer more money to K-12 education, especially during his first term. (The department received less than $40 billion when he took office, and less than $70 billion by the time he left, according to this chart.)

You can watch the video here.

Related Tags: