Rep. Roy and Sen. Rand Paul Introduce Legislation to put Parents Back in Charge of Their Kids’ Education Spending
by Chip Roy on March 12, 2021 at 3:53 PM
On Wednesday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and I introduced legislation to empower parents by allowing federal education dollars to follow students, rather than being tied down solely to government-run public schools.
The Support Children Having Open Opportunities for Learning (SCHOOL) Act allows federal funds for K-12 education to follow the eligible child, regardless of whether the child is in public school, private school, or homeschool.
Currently, billions of dollars of federal funding flow to public elementary and secondary schools whose doors are physically shut – contrary to the science. On Wednesday, Democrats passed another “COVID relief” package that includes an additional $130 billion to schools that do not have in person classes. Since, politicians and teachers unions have proven that they care more about politics than children’s well-being, this money should go directly to families instead.
Nearly one year after Americans were told we should take “two weeks to slow the spread,” too many children are still barred from attending school in person, while billions of dollars have been allocated to the very local authorities keeping schools closed. No more funding should be allocated to these local tyrants at the expense of our children’s futures. Parents should be in control of their child’s education, period, not politicians or union bosses. I’m proud to reintroduce The SCHOOL Act with Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) which allows federal funds for K-12 education to follow the eligible child, regardless of whether the child is in public school, private school, or homeschool.
Senator Paul put forward companion legislation in the Senate on the same day.
“I’ve led the effort to reopen our schools from the very beginning, and as we continue our push, it’s imperative that we empower parents to make the decision that’s best for their child’s education -- without being restricted by the political games our governors and teachers’ unions have been playing with our children’s lives and well-being,” said Sen. Paul. “I have a bill to do exactly that – my SCHOOL Act would give parents and students a choice in education, and the tools to succeed no matter where they are learning.”
Specifically, the ‘SCHOOL’ Act:
- Amends the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to allow certain funds authorized under those laws to follow a child, whether learning in person or remotely, to the public school, private school, or homeschool of choice.
- Allows those funds to be used for a range of needs, including:
- curriculum materials;
- technological educational materials;
- extracurricular activities;
- private school tuition; and
- educational therapies for students with disabilities.
- Ensures each child would receive the same amount of funding, regardless of where the child is enrolled.
- Ensures that no child choosing to take advantage of these opportunities would be precluded from a federally funded school food program.
- Protects non-public education providers from Federal and State control.
Original House cosponsors of the legislation currently include Reps:
- Doug LaMalfa (CA-01)
- Tom Rice (SC-07)
- Warren Davidson (OH-08)
- Andy Biggs (AZ-05)
- Louie Gohmert (TX-01)
- Jody Hice (GA-10)
- Ralph Norman (SC-05)
- Byron Donalds (FL-19)
- Yvette Herrell (NM-02)
- Brian Mast (FL-18)
- Andy Harris (MD-01)
More support for the SCHOOL Act:
Adam Brandon, President FreedomWorks: "The federal government has no place making decisions for students' education to begin with, so logic holds that any dollars it sends for education should be available for families to use as they see best fit for their child. We thank Congressman Roy for standing up with this common sense legislation. The simple concept of dollars following students instead of systems -- especially at a time when public school systems aren't working for so many families -- should be noncontroversial."
The SCHOOL Act is also endorsed by Heritage Action.