Providing school choice to military families

Heritage’s Director of Education Policy Lindsey Burke has created the Military Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) policy that would allow military families to choose education options that are the right fit for their children instead of having to attend the public schools nearest to base assigned to them.

This policy is being debating in Congress right now as the Education Savings Accounts for Military Children Act of 2018.

80 percent of children from military families currently attend public schools, but only 34 percent of those surveyed said they would choose public schools as their first option. Many military families leave the service for this reason, and ESA’s would be a method of retaining these servicemen.

This bill modernizes the Federal Impact Aid Program to have the same flexibility as the G.I. Bill. Specifically, Heritage is proposing Congress:

  • Direct the federal Impact Aid program, which provides additional funding to districts with a military population, to military-connected children themselves, instead of to public school districts.
  • Re-conceptualize the $1.3 billion Impact Aid program in a way that creates school choice for military families, empowering parents with the ability to choose what works for their children and ensuring that a service member’s decision to remain in the military does not hinge on outdated assignment-by-zip-code schooling policies.
  • Transition Impact Aid funding into parent-controlled education savings accounts (ESAs) to provide children of active-duty military families with education choice, while ensuring the federal program serves military families so that they can serve the nation.

What do you think is the best benefit of school choice?

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