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School Choice Gets a Nod at the RNC, But That's About It

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Education was far from being a prominent topic at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this week, but when it was mentioned, the focus was on school choice.

Donald Trump gave a nod to the education policy popular with many Republicans during his acceptance speech for the party's presidential nomination on Thursday evening, according to Education Week political reporter Alyson Klein, who is at the convention.

"We will rescue kids from failing schools by helping their parents send them to a safe school of their choice," Trump said. "My opponent would rather protect bureaucrats than serve American children."

But that was about it for education, according to Klein:

"Overall, Trump's speech was light on policy and the specifics of governing, as were most of the addresses here in Cleveland this week. To the extent that big issues have been discussed this week, national security and immigration have far eclipsed education.

To be sure, a smattering of speakers, including Trump's vice presidential pick, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, and the nominee's son, Donald Trump, Jr., checked the education box over the course of the convention, sprinkling praise for school choice into their speeches. But no one offered anything resembling specifics."

Pence has been a strong supporter of school choice in Indiana, and has pushed to expand both charter schools and the state's private school voucher program. During his address at the RNC on Wednesday night, Pence said Trump "will fight for equal educational opportunity and loves school choice."

For more on education at the Republican convention, check out the Politics K-12 blog here.

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Photo: The 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. Photo by Swikar Patel/Education Week

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