Trump backs choice, but what’s the plan?
President Trump wants to spend $20 billion on school choice for “disadvantaged youth.” Families “should be free to choose the public, private, charter, magnet, religious or home school that is right for them,” he said in his speech to Congress.
Last week, Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos visited an Catholic school in Orlando, where most of the students, who are predominantly black and low-income, use Florida’s tax-credit scholarships to pay tuition.
According to Politico, the administration is considering a “federal tax-credit scholarship program that would channel billions of dollars to working class families to enable their children to attend private schools, including religious schools.”
Fordham’s Wonkathon asks what Trump’s proposal should look like. So far:
A 50-state scholarship tax credit by Thomas W. Carroll
Trump Student Success Zones by Jason Crye
Federalizing tax-credit scholarships risks the Common Core-ification of school choice, argues Heritage’s Lindsey Burke. It risks “entangling Washington in private education and jeopardizing the autonomy of non-profit scholarship granting organizations.”
It’s unlikely that a program of this magnitude, even using tax credits, would be left free from government regulations masked as “accountability” or “social justice,” if history is any guide. . . . As much as I want to see every state provide universal choice for students, we have to resist the temptation of using federal might to push policies we like.
Donald Trump won’t be president forever.