Santorum: I’ll Home-School In The White House

Says the move will be a “shock to the establishment”—drawing loud cheers from his most loyal constituency.

Santorum poses with a family (not his own) in South Carolina Thursday. JASON REED / Reuters

CHARLESTON, South Carolina — Rick Santorum has no more loyal base than the crowd of home-schooled children and their parents who gathered here Thursday night. Not only are all of Santorum’s children home-schooled by his wife Karen, but the family is committed to holistic medical treatments, health food, and Christian-inspired learning, popular causes with home-schoolers.

The topics covered at the Charleston town hall varied widely, but the conversation always returned to education. And Santorum, whose late grassroots rally in Iowa was built on the foundation of endorsements from various home school advocacy groups, was all too happy to rally the troops in the Palmetto State.

At one point, a woman came to the microphone to express her appreciation—and beg for some red meat.

“You are familiar, of course, with home schooling…” she began, before Santorum interrupted with a smile, “My wife is more familiar with home schooling.”

“And we give her a shout-out for that!” the woman responded, sparking applause from the audience. Then she got to her question: “I was wondering if it’s possible at all to influence at least the idea, I know the teachers’ union is not crazy about it, but to try to get some home schooling… and be able to somehow work that into education without being a special interest?”

“Well obviously leading by example is a good thing,” Santorum responded. “And having a homeschooling family in the White House would certainly be a shock to the establishment.”

The crowd laughed, and then roared with applause. He went on to explain that parents, not any government body, should be in charge of determining what success means for their children’s educational experience.

“It’s going to be different for different parents,” Santorum said. “And you know what? That’s OK! I trust parents to instill values, and instill citizenship and all those things much more than I do the education system in America today. It’s sad to say.”

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