Gary Johnson quotes about education

Gary Johnson, the former two-term governor of New Mexico, is the Libertarian Party’s presidential nominee. He’ll face off (with running mate William Weld) in November against the Republican Party's Donald Trump and Mike Pence and the Democratic Party's Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine. Here are some of his views on education:

  1. School choice: “I think I was more outspoken than any governor in the country regarding school choice—believing that the only way to really reform education was to bring competition to public education. So for six straight years as governor of New Mexico, I proposed a full-blown voucher system that would’ve brought about that competition.” August 2012.
  2. Federal role in education: “I think that the number-one thing that the federal government could do when it comes to the delivery of education would be to abolish itself from the education business….It’s also important to point out that the federal Department of Education was established in 1979. And there is nothing to suggest that, since 1979, that the federal Department of Education has been value-added regarding anything. So just get the federal government out of education.” August 2012.
  3. Common Core: “[Gary Johnson] opposes Common Core and any other attempts to impose national standards and requirements on local schools.” June 2016 (from his campaign website).
  4. Teacher pay: “Think of any occupation in this country where the top person in that occupation doesn’t make $30 million a year—except for education, because we don’t have a system that absolutely rewards the best. If you had full-blown competition when it came to education, you’d have educators making $30 million a year. Because what they would do is, they would be laying down templates that would positively impact all educational earners.” May 2016.
  5. Online education: “Right now, the Khan Academy—I mean, it’s free education, kindergarten through a doctoral degree in every single subject. And it’s free. That’s the model of the future. Why have we got bricks and mortar?” May 2016.
  6. President’s role in education: “I’m running for president of the United States. I don’t want a piece of this action. This is action that belongs in the states: fifty laboratories of innovation and best practice. And guest what—you’d have innovation; you’d have best practice.” May 2016.
  7. Competition in education: “I’m going to argue that those states that really bring about this competition to public education will show really fabulous results that’ll get emulated. Those states that want to stay with the existing model, they’re going to continue to show horrible results.” May 2016.
  8. Student loans: “If students loans did not exist—and I am not advocating that with regard to the federal government—but if student loans did not exist, I think tuition would be a lot lower. Because colleges and universities want to deliver their product, and if there weren’t as many kids going to school because it costs too much, they would find ways to lower their price.” April 2012.
Brandon L. Wright
Brandon L. Wright is the Editorial Director of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.