DeVos comments if school choice plan will be left for states to decide

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos spoke in Indianapolis Monday at a summit hosted by the American Federation for Children, a school choice advocacy organization she had previously led.

DeVos promised that the states – not Washington, D.C. – would make the decisions on education choices for students.  “When it comes to education, no solution, not even ones we like, should be dictated or run from Washington, D.C.,” she said.

“The President is proposing the most ambitious expansion of education choice in our nation’s history. The proposal’s aim is to empower states and give leaders the flexibility and opportunity to enhance the choices Indiana provides for Indiana students,” DeVos stated.

She added, “Defenders of our current system have been regularly resistant to any meaningful change. In resisting, they have chilled creativity and stopped American kids from competing at the highest levels.  Education should not be a partisan issue.”

Politico noted that DeVos’ speech was given just hours before the Trump administration was scheduled to release a budget that will cut some traditional education programs, while investing $1 billion in promoting public school choice.

DeVos stated, “We won’t accomplish our goals by creating a new federal bureaucracy or by bribing states with their own taxpayers’ money. We should have zero interest in substituting the current big government approach for our own big government approach.”

There is still some question whether the Trump administration will propose an education tax credit provision. Politico noted:

In her speech, DeVos didn’t mention a federal education tax credit proposal, which the administration has purportedly been considering as a way to channel public money to private-school scholarships to enable working-class families to pay the tuition. AFC Chairman Bill Oberndorf was clear about his organization’s support for such a proposal.

“We look forward to more details about the school choice proposals and, ultimately, hope to see a federal education tax credit included in broader tax reform later this year,” he said.

 

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