by Rachel Streitfeld, CNN
Washington (CNN) – Calling the nation's falling educational standards "the civil rights issue of our time," on Wednesday Mitt Romney proposed dramatically expanding school choice for low-income and disabled children.
Romney told members of the Latino Coalition gathered at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that millions of American children were "getting a third-world education," adding: "America's minority children suffer the most. This is the civil rights issue of our era."
The GOP hopeful said low-income and disabled students should be able to choose to attend any public or charter schools in a voucher-like program, with federal aid following them to their chosen schools.
Campaign advisers told reporters the plan would not require new federal spending. They did not discuss the plan's effect on schools largely supported by that same federal aid.