« Access and Quality Vital to Growth of School Choice, Report Says | Main | Group Offers Up $35 Million for Philadelphia Charter School Expansion »

Four Things Sen. Alexander Says the Feds Can Do to Expand School Choice

| No comments

The chairman of the U.S. Senate education committee has four ideas for how the federal government can help foster school choice—something that's usually driven by policy at the state level.

Speaking at a Washington event held to release the Brookings Institution's 2014 Education Choice and Competition Index, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said the bottom line should be to "put the money in the kid's backpack."

So, what can the feds do now to help that happen? Here are Alexander's suggestions:

  1. Allow states to use federal dollars to create scholarships to follow low-income students to any school of their choice;
  2. Allow students with disabilities to spend the federal dollars allocated to them on schools of their choice;
  3. Expand the District of Columbia's school voucher program, called the Opportunity Scholarship Program, which is funded by Congress;
  4. Encourage the expansion of high-quality charter schools in the states through federal grant programs.

Both Alexander and fellow Senate Republican Tim Scott of South Carolina are pushing legislation that would tackle the first three items on that list. 

At the Brookings event, Alexander also talked about testing mandates and the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. My colleague on the federal education beat, Alyson Klein, has more on that in the Politics K-12 blog.


How Language in NCLB Draft Bill Affects School Choice 

Access and Quality Vital to Growth of School Choice, Brookings Report Says

Scrapping Federally Mandated Tests Will Hurt School Choice, Advocates Say

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.


Most Viewed on Education Week



Recent Comments