Last week, at the Republican National Convention, it was clear that school choice gives conservatives a positive way to talk about education policy.
But for people who typically want to keep the federal government out of education altogether, what does a national agenda look like?
On the latest edition of our podcast, Lindsey Burke, an education policy fellow at the Heritage Foundation, says there are ways Congress can promote educational choice without expanding the federal government’s role.
It can re-allocate existing pots of funding so they follow children to schools of their choice. It can also promote choice-friendly policies in areas where the federal government has clear jurisdiction, such as schools run by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, or the nation’s capital, where Congress will be looking to re-authorize a closely watched voucher program this year.
In an interview with Denisha Merriweather, an alumna of the Florida tax credit scholarship program who is now a school choice advocate and graduate student at the University of South Florida, Burke says she wants to see policies that go beyond school choice, allowing parents to customize the entire educational path for their children.
The foundation of that system, she hopes, will be education savings accounts, which allow parents to receive an amount of money — typically 90 percent of what the government would otherwise spend on their child — to cover K-12 educational expenses. They can spend it on individual courses, private school tuition, textbooks or education-related therapies, or save the money to pay for college. Continue Reading →