This week, Florida’s two U.S. senators–Republicans Marco Rubio and Rick Scott–threw their support behind U.S. Sen. Tim Scott’s, R-SC, “Creating Hope and Opportunity for Individuals and Communities through Education Act (CHOICE Act).”
Other backers include Republican U.S. Sens. Mike Braun of Indiana, John Cornyn and Ted Cruz of Texas, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Roger Wicker of Mississippi.
The proposal would expand school choice options “by permitting states that have established programs for parents of children with disabilities to use public or private funds for the cost of their children attending a private school to supplement those funds with federal special education funds” and creates more grants for the states to increase school choice. The bill would also create a five-year pilot program through the U.S. Defense Department to expand school choice options for military families.
“As the product of a poor, single-parent household, I have always been a champion of school choice. And as the coronavirus pandemic has shown us, the need for educational options is more vital today than ever before,” Tim Scott said. “The sad reality is too many students lack access to a quality education because of their zip code, and that is simply unacceptable. Commonsense solutions like my CHOICE Act will empower families to choose the best schools for their children and put parents in charge.”
“American students’ potential should not be limited by the zip code their family can afford to live in,” Rubio said. “I am proud to partner with Senator Scott to empower and enable families to choose education options that best suit the unique needs of their children.”
The bill was sent to the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee on Thursday. So far, there is no companion measure in the U.S. House. The bill is not expected to clear either chamber of Congress now that the Democrats control them.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.