Note: HSLDA has reached out to many of the presidential campaigns for interviews. We will write about/post the interviews as they occur. HSLDA has not endorsed any 2016 presidential candidate.
The 2016 presidential primary season is in full swing. Over a dozen candidates of all stripes: governors, senators, business leaders, and even an entertainer and a surgeon are all competing for the most powerful job in the world: President of the United States. With so many candidates running, HSLDA has been writing about where each candidate stands on issues that matter to homeschoolers.
Mike Farris, HSLDA’s co-founder and Chairman, recently had an opportunity to interview one of the candidates, Florida Senator Marco Rubio. The interview covered faith, homeschooling, United Nations treaties, the Federal role in education, and Convention of States. You can catch the entire conversation on the Homeschool Heartbeat, but here are some notable highlights:
“I think [homeschooling is] not only a valid way to teach our children, you see from the empirical evidence that homeschool children are outperforming many children attending traditional schools. I believe in parental choice—homeschooling, faith-based schools, a private school of your choosing, a public school you want to go to instead of the one you’re zoned for. But I view homeschooling, and especially the explosion of homeschooling in America over the last 15 years, as a great development that we’ve seen. And we see how well homeschoolers are performing once they’re getting into college and universities across the country.”
Parents know what is best for their kids, not unelected United Nations bureaucrats.
“Ultimately, every treaty in this country is a surrender of sovereignty. Now, in some cases, like arms control and others, it may make sense for America. But in these specific instances, these are allowing the United States to now be bound internationally by standards set by other countries with whom we don’t share values or culture. Many of these countries don’t have a First Amendment or anything like it. Many of these countries don’t have the Judeo-Christian foundation that influenced the framing of our Constitution and ultimately of our laws.
And I would say that when it comes to the treatment of children, the treatment of the disabled, there’s no country in the world that does it better than we do now. That doesn’t mean we can’t seek to improve. But I think there’s no country that does it better than we do now. And to somehow subject America to international guidelines that now bind us in international law is not something that I’m supportive of. And I think the most important thing that we can do to help children in America is to empower family and parents, not empower the United Nations or some intergovernmental, international body.”
Faith teaches lessons and informs decisions.
Marco Rubio has been outspoken on his faith throughout the presidential race. Here’s what he had to say to Mike Farris:
“My faith is the single greatest influence in my life. And so it will influence my decisions as president, not because I seek to impose my beliefs—as a Christian, I can’t impose my beliefs. Christianity is the free gift of salvation that has to be accepted willingly. But it does teach me that I have to care for the less fortunate. It teaches me that the way to serve Christ is to serve my neighbor and to love one another. It also teaches me that the most important job and the most influential role I will ever play is to be a husband to my wife and a father to my children.
And so as president I will continue to obviously fulfill my obligations to the nation, but it will influence me in terms of how I view issues, because I view them through the lens of my faith that says that I am to glorify God in everything I do.”
It is important to note that HSLDA is not endorsing any candidate in the 2016 presidential primary, but we have been releasing regular blog posts about where the candidates stand on noteworthy homeschool-related issues.
HSLDA has also invited all serious candidates from both the Democrat and Republican parties to join us for an interview about homeschooling and education policy on Homeschool Heartbeat. So stay tuned—we hope to hear from more of these candidates soon!