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Posted at 10:14 PM ET, 01/16/2012

Santorum: I ‘shouldn’t have’ voted for No Child Left Behind

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum has changed his mind about No Child Left Behind. A decade after voting for the education reform legislation, he said in a debate on Monday night that he was sorry he had approved it.

“I voted for it,” he said. “I shouldn’t have.”

He said further that the country “should repeal” all federal government involvement in primary and secondary education and that he would push for that should he be elected president.

Many past supporters of NCLB have turned against the law because it has not accomplished the goals it set to close America’s achievement gap and its sanctions against schools that don’t meet certain unrealistic requirements are onerous.

Santorum’s rejection of the bill is part of an overall disdain for federal involvement in public education. His website makes it clear that he sees the federal role in education to be “very limited.”

He has repeatedly expressed support for publicly financed vouchers for families to use to pay for tuition at any school, public or private.

He has also:

* Called the U.S. Department of Education “unnecessary” in a 2011 interview but hasn’t called for its elimination outright.

* Opposes early childhood education in public schools.

Santorum was quoted in the Des Moines Register last August as saying: “It is a parent’s responsibility to educate their children. It is not the government’s job. We have sort of lost focus here a little bit. Of course, the government wants their hands on your children as fast as they can. That is why I opposed all these early starts and pre-early starts, and early-early starts. They want your children from the womb so they can indoctrinate your children as to what they want them to be. I am against that.”

* Wants to restore funding for abstinence education.

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By  |  10:14 PM ET, 01/16/2012

 
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