Thursday | January 28, 2021

Scott Reintroduces CHOICE Act to Increase Educational Options for American Families and Students

WASHINGTON—Today, during National School Choice Week, U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) was joined by Senators Mike Braun (R-IN), John Cornyn (R-TX), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Rick Scott (R-FL), and Roger Wicker (R-MS) in reintroducing the Creating Hope and Opportunity for Individuals and Communities through Education Act (CHOICE Act). The CHOICE Act will expand opportunities and foster success by providing parents greater options when it comes to their child’s education.

“As the product of a poor, single-parent household, I have always been a champion of school choice. And as the coronavirus pandemic has shown us, the need for educational options is more vital today than ever before,” said Senator Tim Scott (R-SC). “The sad reality is too many students lack access to a quality education because of their zip code, and that is simply unacceptable. Commonsense solutions like my CHOICE Act will empower families to choose the best schools for their children and put parents in charge.”

“American students’ potential should not be limited by the zip code their family can afford to live in,” said Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL). “I am proud to partner with Senator Scott to empower and enable families to choose education options that best suit the unique needs of their children.”

“When moms and dads go to bat for their kids, we’ve got to have their backs. With roughly one-third of school districts offering virtual-only learning, families need the opportunity to seek out educational options that work best for their kids,” said Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE). “Parents with children who have disabilities need the flexibility to customize their kids’ education to provide the best educational and social support. That’s what our bill does. These kids deserve the best – and school choice gives them a chance to meet their needs.”

“Students and parents everywhere deserve a choice in education,” said Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS). “I am glad to join Senator Tim Scott to introduce the CHOICE Act, which will help give parents of students with special needs and those who live on military bases more options for learning.”

“Parents, not the government, should be making educational decisions for their children,” said Senator John Cornyn (R-TX). “A good education helps lay the foundation for future success, and this legislation would empower families, particularly those with children with special needs, to help ensure their children have access to a quality education that works best for them.”

Senator Rick Scott said, “Every child learns differently, and every family deserves the chance to choose an education that best meets the needs of their child and ensures they have the opportunity to succeed. Throughout my time as Governor of Florida and now as Senator, I’ve worked to make our state a national leader in school choice, and I’m proud to join Senator Tim Scott and my colleagues to build on these efforts with the CHOICE Act.”



Background: 

  • This legislation would support parents by eliminating barriers to seek the information necessary to determine a best-fit school that can effectively serve their child’s needs.
  • Expands school choice programs by permitting states that have established programs for parents of disabled children to use public or private funds for the cost of their children attending a private school to supplement those funds with federal special education funds; 
  • Authorizes grants to support the design and initial implementation of state programs that allow the parents of a disabled child to choose the appropriate public or private school for their child.
  • Establishes a five-year pilot program, within the Department of Defense, to award scholarships that enable military dependent students, who live on military installations, to attend the public or private elementary or secondary schools their parents choose.

Click here to read full bill text.

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CONTACT:

Tim Scott: Ken Farnaso, 202-224-6121

Sasse: James Wegmann, 202-224-4224  

Rubio: Nick Iacovella, 202-224-3041

Cornyn: Natalie Yezbick, 202-224-2934

Wicker: Phillip Waller, 202-224-6253

Rick Scott: McKinley Lewis 202-228-0253

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