Education Freedom Scholarships: Expanding Educational Freedom and Choice for Families

Today, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos unveiled a bold and innovative Administration proposal for Education Freedom Scholarships, with legislation to be introduced by educational choice champions Senator Ted Cruz and Representative Bradley Byrne. These scholarships would be funded through charitable contributions which would be eligible for federal tax credits. The American Federation for Children, the nation’s voice for educational choice, released the following statement:

Statement from John Schilling, President of American Federation of Children:

“There is no greater form of local control in education than empowering families to choose the best K-12 educational option for their children. The Education Freedom Scholarships bill is a major step forward in empowering families with greater educational choice and ultimately greater economic benefit for students. Education Freedom Scholarships, funded through individual and business contributions to nonprofit Scholarship Granting Organizations, would provide children across the nation with access to schools of their families’ choice and customized educational options tailored to their children’s individual needs. This legislation is an unprecedented opportunity for Republicans and Democrats to come together in support of expanding educational opportunity for America’s families and students. We thank Secretary DeVos for her leadership and perseverance on this issue, as well as Sen. Cruz and Rep. Byrne for introducing this bold and innovative bill.”

Education Freedom Scholarship Details: 

The legislation is a $5 billion investment in America’s students. It is a dollar-for-dollar, non-refundable federal tax credit for individual and business contributions to state non-profit Scholarship Granting Organizations (SGOs).

The scholarships must be used for an individual student’s elementary or secondary education, or for a student’s career and technical education.

Families receive and control the use of scholarships distributed by SGOs, expanding students’ access to a variety of educational opportunities, such as advanced, remedial and elective courses; private and home education; tutoring; educational therapy; concurrent and dual enrollment; apprenticeships; industry certifications; summer and after-school education programs; and transportation.

This is not a new federal program. Governance and control of programs—including SGOs, student eligibility, education providers, and education expenses—are all within the purview of each state that chooses to participate. No state is forced to participate, no taxpayer is forced to contribute to SGOs, no family is forced to accept a scholarship.

The legislation directly empowers families with the freedom to choose what is best for their children.