Monday | July 13, 2015

Scott Amendment Would Allow Greater School Choice for America’s Low-Income Children

Washington- Affirming his belief that every child should have access to a high quality education, U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), a leading voice for school choice in the U.S. Senate, has offeredS.Amdt. 2132to the Every Child Achieves Act (ECAA) to allow Title I funds to follow low-income children and strengthen educational options for their parents. Currently being debated on the Senate floor, the Every Child Achieves Act (ECAA) would reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the principal law governing the federal role in K-12 education.

"Every child, regardless of thezip codethey live in, should have access to a quality education" said Senator Scott. "Parents and students are best served when they have educational freedom, whether it's through public schools, charter schools, magnet programs, virtual learning, private schools, homeschooling communities or other options.My amendment would give states increased opportunities to ensure that low-income families and their childrenhave more choices when selectingtheir learning environments."

Senator Scott's amendment will:

  • Allow states the option to have their Title I funds follow low-income children wherever they attend within their school district - including to the private school of their parent's choice.
  • Permit public schools to receive funding based on the number of low-income children attending those schools. The schools then would be able to use those funds in according to the needs of their student population.?
  • Ensure participating private schools will be academically accountable to the parents of the low-income children and protects against discrimination based on race, color, or national origin.?
  • Require the Secretary of Education to conduct an evaluation of graduation rates and parental satisfaction for low-income children whose parents have chosen to enroll in private schools.

According to the U.S. Department of Education,Title I funds"provide financial assistance to local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools with high numbers or high percentages of children from low-income families to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic standards. Federal funds are currently allocated through four statutory formulas that are based primarily on census poverty estimates and the cost of education in each state."

Enacting greater school choice options for all students continues to be a be a central focus of Senator Scott's legislative work as a member of the Senate Education Committee. Earlier this year, he hosted "Choosing Excellence: A Forum on the Freedom to Choose Academic Excellence for Every Child," a daylong forum that brought together nationally recognized school choice advocates, experts, and practitioners, as well as parents and students to Capitol Hill to discuss the urgency of promoting academic excellence for every child across the country.

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