The Scott amendment ensures funds follow the child to the school where they learn best
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, PublicSchoolOptions.org and parent leaders across the country applauded Senator Tim Scott’s efforts to ensure that every child has access to the schools where they learn best. The amendment, introduced by Senator Scott to the Every Child Achieves Act (S.1177), gives states and parents more flexibility in choosing the schools where their children learn best by ensuring Title I funds follow low-income students to the schools they choose.
The amendment, which was voted on today, did not pass. Forty-four Senators joined Senator Scott and stood up for school choice by voting for the amendment, but the amendment required more than a simple majority to be included in the underlying ECAA bill.
STATEMENT FROM BETH PURCELL, FORMER PUBLICSCHOOLOPTIONS.ORG PRESIDENT AND SOUTH CAROLINA PARENT LEADER
“I am proud of Senator Scott for standing up for students and parents. Every single child, regardless of what neighborhood they live in, or how much money their parents make, deserves the best opportunity for success and that starts with getting the education that works best for them. Anytime we can give more options to parents and our local communities, the better chance of success for our kids. I am disappointed the amendment didn’t pass, but I know the fight is never over. Senator Scott will continue to fight to make sure our kids have the best opportunities in life. We are encouraged by the support of his colleagues in the Senate vote today and know others will join him in this most important effort.”
Scott Amendment Highlights:
– This amendment would allow states the option to have their Title I funds follow low-income children wherever they attend within their school district – including to the private school of their parent’s choice.
– Public schools would be able to receive funding based on the number of low-income children attending those schools. The schools then would be able to use those funds in according to the needs of their student population.
– Parents who choose to put their low-income child in a private school would receive a payment equal to the total amount allotted to the state divided by the total number of low-income children in the state. This would allow parents who believe that their child would perform better in a private school to access that option using Title I funds.
– The payments to parents would not be considered income for tax purposes or for the purpose of determining eligibility for other federal programs.
– The amendment provides that participating private schools will be academically accountable to the parents of the low-income children and protects against discrimination based on race, color, or national origin.
– Every two years, the Secretary shall conduct an evaluation of graduation rates and parental satisfaction for low-income children whose parents have chosen to enroll in private schools.
PublicSchoolOptions.org is a national alliance of over 60,000 parents that supports and defends parents’ rights to access the best public school options for their children. The Coalition supports the creation of public school options, including charter schools, online schools, magnet schools, open enrollment policies and other innovative education programs. Additionally, we advocate for equal access without restrictions to the school that best suits the individual student’s learning needs whether it is public, non-public or home-based.
With active parent-led organizations in over thirty states, PublicSchoolOptions.org is an advocacy organization that is unmatched at the grassroots level. Just as parents have fought for years at the state level to support education policies that improve access and provide greater public school options, the parents of PublicSchoolOptions.org stand ready to support policy at the federal level that matches the principles outlined above.