Relief Bill Punishes School Choice Programs
And speaking of a line-item veto…a good argument for the idea can be found in the relief bill Congress approved and the president signed. Buried in that measure are restrictions preventing states from expanding school choice programs.
Reason’s Eric Boehm writes:
The new stimulus package includes $2.75 billion for the Governors Emergency Education Relief (GEER) fund, a program established by the earlier stimulus bill passed in March, but it comes with new restrictions on how that money can be used. Seemingly in response to the fact that several governors used the first round of GEER funding to launch or expand school choice programs, the new stimulus bill explicitly excludes “vouchers, tuition tax credit programs, education savings accounts, scholarship programs, or tuition assistance programs for elementary and secondary education.”
Because why should parents have more educational options for their kids at a time when many traditional public schools are refusing to reopen, right?
“America’s students—especially those from lower income, working class, and special needs families who have been most harmed by the pandemic—deserved better,” John Schilling, president of the American Federation for Children, which advocates for greater educational choice, said in a statement. The group says the new restrictions on how GEER funding can be used were included in the bill at the behest of teachers’ unions.
Because maintaining the government school bureaucracy is more important than making sure kids and their parents have viable options about where and how to learn.