Statement from the American Federation for Children on Efforts to Advance Parental Choice at the Federal Level

The American Federation for Children, the nation’s voice for educational choice, wishes to thank Senators Lamar Alexander and Tim Scott – and those Senators who supported them – for their courageous efforts to empower low-income parents with greater educational choice.

Betsy DeVos, chairman of the American Federation for Children issued the following statement:

“Senators Lamar Alexander and Tim Scott are terrific champions for American students. The Scholarship for Kids and Title I portability amendments were about transferring power from the federal government to the states and directly to parents. These amendments would have given millions of children trapped in schools that fail to meet their needs the opportunity to attend schools chosen by their parents rather than ones solely assigned according to their zip code.

“In the states, there is tremendous momentum for giving parents, especially low-income parents, the power to choose the best educational environment for their children. Twenty-three states plus Washington, D.C. have publicly funded private school choice programs and 43 states plus D.C. have public charter school laws. Virtual and blended learning options have taken hold in dozens of states. A Beck Research national poll of 1,800 likely voters released by the American Federation for Children in January 2015 showed 69 percent support the concept of school choice generally, and 63 percent support for opportunity scholarships or ‘vouchers’ specifically. Parents want choice in education and state policymakers have heard this message loud and clear.

“Our higher education system is the envy of the world; our K-12 system is not, and it should be. Educational innovation, with parental choice at the center, is happening on a bipartisan basis all over the country. Innovation and boldness always begin in the states with reform-minded governors and state legislators. We urge Congress to embrace innovative policies that expand parental choice and leverage the federal investment in K-12 education in ways that will empower parents, facilitate opportunity for every child, and improve K-12 educational outcomes across the board.”

 

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American Federation for Children is the nation’s leading school choice advocacy organization and works in states across the country to help secure additional, high-quality educational options for families.