Sunday, May 21, 2017

No Parent Left Behind

The plan for choice:
In September, then-candidate Donald Trump rolled out a $20 billion block-grant proposal that would have provided states with access to federal funds for creating school-choice programs.

The plan DeVos is expected to outline on May 22 will likely be more similar to the Educational Opportunities Act, legislation proposed by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Sen. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) in 2013. Under that proposal, which was not approved by the House or the Senate, would have provided individuals with a tax credit amounting to as much as $4,500 for donating money to nonprofit scholarship-granting organizations, which would then provide scholarships to low-income students for use at public or private schools, including religious schools. Corporations could receive a tax credit worth up to $100,000 for their donations.

Politico also reports it’s unlikely the Trump administration’s plan will require states to create school-choice programs.

Because the proposal could be built into a larger tax-reform bill, it’s possible the school-choice plan could be implemented through the budget reconciliation process, which means only a simple majority of legislators in the Senate would be needed to end debate. Most legislation considered in the Senate requires 60 votes.

In creating a school-choice plan, the Trump administration must walk a fine line. Many Democrats will oppose any school-choice plan—largely because they receive significant financial and political support from powerful teachers unions—and some conservative Republicans will be very skeptical of any legislation that attempts to create a more significant role for the federal government in education, which they believe to be a state and local issue protected by the 10th Amendment.
But wouldn't choice actually create less of a role? Maybe that's what both sides are really afraid of...

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