Marco Rubio, the GOP Senate hopeful, was in Hialeah Monday to propose 12 ideas to improve education, part of his "Ideas to Reclaim America." By his side was former Gov. Jeb Bush, whose A+ Plan for Education revamped the FCAT and introduced statewide school grades more than a decade ago.
"Marco Rubio understands that God has given every child the ability to learn," Bush said.
Rubio said parents should get a tax deduction for whatever money they spend on their children's education, from private-school tuition, school supplies or after-school programs: "There's no reason why every American should not receive a tax deduction for their children's [schooling]," he said.
Other parts of the plan: giving parents better access to information about a school's performance, using federal Head Start money to fund children's pre-kindergarten tuition and not pre-kindergarten programs, and setting up a national competition to find the best virtual programs for online learning.
And Rubio proposed expanding existing Florida programs: the corporate income tax credit, a voucher program; the McKay scholarship, a voucher for students with disabilities; and the state's litigation insurance to protect teachers from liability from what Rubio called "frivolous" lawsuits.