WASHINGTON – The senses. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) today introduced the Children Have Opportunities in Classrooms Everywhere Act, or CHOICE Act, a bill allowing low-income families with children in the Kindergarten to Grade 12 education fund for the educational options that best meet their needs.
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), enacted by President Lyndon B. Johnson, was designed to create opportunities for low-income students by providing funding that would improve “quality and equality” in education and is the primary source of federal funding. K-12 education aid. However, ESEA dollars go through a labyrinth of formulas that siphon money at the expense of bureaucracy and administration, without any consideration for the individual needs of children, the contribution of parents and the responsibility of schools. Decades of evidence have shown that the ESEA has made little or no progress in improving educational outcomes or the opportunities for the low-income children it is meant to serve.
The CHOICE Act would allow low-income families with Kindergarten to Grade 12 children to claim federal education funds that they may choose to contribute to the public school in which their children are enrolled; or to an education savings account, called the 529 account. In addition, this would increase eligible expenses for 529 accounts so that they could go towards tuition fees in private schools, virtual learning, tutoring, home education programs, therapy services, etc.
“For too long our K-12 funds have gone to a bureaucratic system that excludes parents and leaves low-income students behind,” said Senator Lee. “This bill will ensure that our Kindergarten to Grade 12 funds go directly to families and students, so they are empowered to choose the options that best meet their unique needs.
“I’ve spent the past 40 years traveling to high schools across the country and talking to students about their next steps after graduation,” mentionned Senator Tuberville. “A four-year college isn’t for everyone, but it’s an opportunity. The CHOICE Act provides students with an opportunity, rather than a one-size-fits-all solution, by giving parents the choice of the educational opportunities and programs that will best prepare their student for a life and career after K-12 school. year. By letting parents and students decide what is best for them, our education system is working as it should: equipping students with the skills to be successful. “
Outside organizations supporting the bill include the American Federation for Children and Heritage Action for America.
“The pandemic has illustrated the critical issue of K-12 education in America – putting the interests of teachers’ unions ahead of individual families and students.” Education funding is intended for the education of children and not for the protection of a particular institution. This bill directly empowers lower income families by funding students, not systems. We thank Senator Lee for bringing this bill forward. “
– John Schilling, President, American Children’s Federation
“For years, many working-class families had no choice but to send their children to the public school to which they were zoned, regardless of the quality of education they received. offer. The past year has amplified this problem, as the Biden administration of other Democrats have refused to open schools, choosing to follow teacher unions instead of science, preventing millions of students from returning to school. school in person. Senator Lee’s CHOICE Act puts these students first by giving them the opportunity to decide which education option is best for them. . “
– Garrett Bess, Vice President of Government Relations and Communications, Heritage Action for America
Read the full text of the bill HERE.