U.S. Senators Tim Scott and Lamar Alexander Introduce School Choice Now Act

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Courtesy of American
Federation of Children

Last week, Senators Tim Scott and Lamar Alexander introduced legislation to ensure K-12 students can return to the private schools they attended before the pandemic and to create the opportunity for more families to choose an option that will work best for their children.

The senators noted that, at a time when many schools may not reopen or are not providing high quality virtual options, the children most at risk are from lower income families. Read Scott’s full release at (www.scott.senate.gov/media-center/press-releases/scott-andchairman-alexander-introduce-school-choicenow-act).

“We applaud Sen. Scott and Chairman Alexander for their leadership in recognizing that the pandemic does not distinguish between public and private school students, and that all students must be supported,” said John Schilling, president of the American Federation of Children. “Private schools are an essential part of America’s K-12 system, educating 5.7 million students and saving the public school system $75 billion annually.

“Many of these schools are in danger of closing as a result of the pandemic and these are the schools serving children in lower income and working class families. Permanent closure of these schools would be devastating for students, families and communities, and a financial disaster for states and school districts. Millions of additional families want and need alternative options, especially in this time of crisis. This legislation will support all families and circumvent further disruptions to learning for children across the country. We urge the Senate to include this critically important legislation in the next COVID relief bill.”

The School Choice Now Act, if passed, would:

– Provide one-time, emergency appropriations to scholarship-granting organizations to prevent widespread closures of private schools

– Scholarship-granting organizations would be authorized to use the one-time funding to provide families with direct educational assistance, including for private school tuition and home-schooling expenses

– Creates educational opportunity for more families to choose the best educational option for their children

– Provides a dollar-for-dollar federal tax credit for contributions to scholarship-granting organizations, which could generate up to $5 billion in new funds for education

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