Baldwin, Rand close geographically, but miles apart on key issue

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Senators Tammy Baldwin and Rand Paul were in Milwaukee on Wednesday, April 23rd speaking to students -- and while they were close geographically, they were miles apart philosophically on one of the key election issues.

Three miles separated Baldwin and Paul on Wednesday.

Paul, of Kentucky -- a Tea Party favorite, attended a School Choice forum at St. Anthony School. 

Baldwin, of Wisconsin -- a darling to progressives spoke to law students at Marquette University.

Paul is frequently mentioned as a possible 2016 presidential candidate, and he's making his first foray into battleground Wisconsin.

On Wednesday, Paul spoke about the failure of public education.

"Milwaukee's really the historic home of the voucher movement. A lot of what's fundamentally American is making choices and giving people choices. What's interesting about School Choice is a lot of the people we're trying to help -- because of their economic circumstances -- don't have choices," Paul said.

Paul says parents should decide how their education tax dollars are used -- and says those who oppose voucher schools are "dead-enders."

"I think the status quo is a dead end for a lot of kids.  We have a lot of cities' public schools, where only half of the kids are even graduating," Paul said.

Paul has called for disbanding the Department of Education -- something Baldwin is staunchly opposed to.

"I differ with him strongly on that issue and think there's a strong role for the Department of Education at the federal level," Baldwin said.

Baldwin argues that funding public education is a critical priority.

"Education and public education is one of the most important investments we can make.  It's an investment in our future. It's an investment in our economy. It's an investment in our democracy," Baldwin said.

Paul says the students at St. Anthony and St. Marcus Schools in Milwaukee are proof that the voucher system works.

Baldwin says many of these decisions need to be made at the local and state level.

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