ICYMI: Scott Op-Ed Previews Bill to Empower Parents to Solve the Learning Loss Crisis
WASHINGTON – This week, U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) penned an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, previewing his new bill—the Raising Expectations with Child Opportunity Vouchers for Educational Recovery (RECOVER) Act—to empower parents to solve the crisis of learning loss facing today’s students.
School Districts Are Hoarding Federal Covid Funds
My new bill would make it possible to direct them directly to parents.
The Wall Street Journal
U.S. Senator Tim Scott
The Biden administration marketed its American Rescue Plan as the solution to the academic setbacks students across the country experienced during the pandemic. But rather than solving the problem, this latest bailout exposed a fundamental reality: Government alone cannot solve the education crisis facing our nation’s children.
My new bill—the Raising Expectations with Child Opportunity Vouchers for Educational Recovery Act, or Recover Act for short—empowers parents to fix this crisis.
The Wall Street Journal reported that as of May, states and school districts had spent only 7% of the $122 billion set aside for education under the American Rescue Plan more than a year ago. The Los Angeles Unified School District was allocated over $2.5 billion and hasn’t spent a penny.
While states and school districts sit on billions, students are struggling.
Parents, fearful of the long-term consequences of lost learning, are desperate to help because they know the clock is ticking. The fourth-grader who is still unable to read can’t wait. The junior in high school who won’t be ready for college courses can’t wait. The student with disabilities who hasn’t received consistent services in two years can’t wait.
The Recover Act would allow states and school districts to use their unspent dollars from the American Rescue Plan to issue Child Opportunity Scholarships directly to parents. The scholarships, targeted for low-income students, could be used for tutoring, school tuition, curriculum materials, educational therapies for children with disabilities, and other resources designed to get students the individualized help they need.
If given access to this funding, parents won’t let 93% of it sit in a bank account while their children fall behind. They’ll fight harder and better than the government ever could to get their kids on the right path. I know because I’ve seen it happen in my own life.
When I struggled in school, my mom, who already worked long days as a nurse’s aide to keep food on the table, stayed up late doing homework with me, encouraged me, and at times disciplined me to get my grades back on track. An opportunity scholarship, like the kind I’m proposing in this bill, would have been a game-changer for my family. My mom didn’t have a government position or a college degree. But she knew what her kid needed, and she wasn’t about to let him fail.
My story isn’t unique. Each day, millions of parents across the country are fighting for their kids’ success. It’s what they do best.
Though the government alone can’t solve this crisis, our nation fortunately has a much more powerful tool to help kids: their parents. Congress must pass the Recover Act to give parents the resources they need to help their children thrive once again.
Click here to read the full op-ed.