Congress may have erected more barriers to school choice in the combined coronavirus relief/federal budget bill, but the Trump administration isn’t giving up on the idea.

In an Executive Order the president issued Monday, the Department of Health and Human Services will make federal support available for low income families to put their kids in the school of their choice if their current public school is unable to provide in-person instruction:

Trump’s executive order…direct[s] HHS to allow disadvantaged families to access grants administered by the Administration for Children and Families. Those families could then use those funds to pursue in-person learning.

HHS officials would not share specific details Monday about how the program would work. An official would only say states and territories and other “eligible organizations” could use the grants in the way Trump has described if they identified such needs in their communities – and chose to use the funds to meet those needs.

HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement the order would help children access in-person schooling through private options in places where public options are not available. 

Good. Alternative education approaches should be encouraged, not legislated away to protect a system that can’t deliver.