Today, Speaker Ryan stopped by a National School Choice Week rally hosted by Rep. Luke Messer (R-IN) and Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) to discuss the importance of expanding education opportunities for students nationwide. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Thank you to Luke Messer and Tim Scott. I want to welcome all of you to the Capitol. It is so inspiring to see so many young people here.
“Look, I am not here as a politician. I am here as a parent. My wife Janna and I have three kids. Our oldest, Liza, is now her class vice president. Can you believe that? She has a better title than I do.
“We are so thankful we can send them to good schools. It means the world to us.
“But every parent in America should have that opportunity. Every parent should have the chance to choose a decent school for your child.
“Think about it. We live in a time when you can use your phone to customize your life. So why would we limit you to a certain school in a certain zip code, even if that school is failing you? That is just wrong.
“In America, we think much, much bigger than that. In America, we believe that the condition of your birth does not affect the outcome of your life.
“You know what does affect that path? Freedom does. Opportunity does. Given that power, given that room to run, you can do so much.
“That is why we are here today, because your parents and your coaches and your teachers and mentors believe in you and want more for you.
“My mentor was a man named Jack Kemp. He used to work in this building. He taught me the power of ‘infectious optimism.’ When you believe in yourself, you will find you are capable of much more than you realized.
“And when you believe in others, they will remember that faith, and pass it on to someone else. That’s what makes it ‘infectious.’ It spreads.
“So think about how the power you have to grow this movement. Share your story. Spread that optimism. Believe in others. Don’t let anyone tell you your limits.
“In the meantime, we are going to keep up the fight. We finally have a president and vice president who believe in school choice. And soon we will have a new education secretary who believes in school choice. We are working to expand the Opportunity Scholarship Program, and we will make it a priority this spring. We are going to be there with you every step of the way.
“Thank you being here. And thank you for inspiring me this morning.”