Key Points
  • Citizens, legislators, and regulators should separate the concept of public education from the monopolistic delivery system and embrace 21st-century methods of connecting students with learning experiences.
  • Legislators should improve or pass charter school laws, striking a balance between innovation, autonomy, and accountability.
  • Legislators should create or expand the type(s) of school choice program that best suits their state: vouchers, tax credit scholarships, homeschooling, and education savings accounts.
  • Legislators and regulatory agencies should be wary of attempts to re-regulate innovative and/or private educational options, which could expose them to the death of the thousand bureaucratic cuts and sacrifice the freedoms that allow them to succeed.
  • Institutions of higher education should be transparent about what outcomes students can expect and how much money they will have to spend or borrow.

An excellent education has long been recognized as key to the American Dream. Unfortunately, the current monopolistic and expensive K-12 education system is failing our students, leaving them unprepared for college, careers, or life. Similarly, our higher education system is leaving students with higher debt burdens and fewer career guarantees than ever before.

While the left argues that our ailing public education system can be fixed with ever-greater quantities of taxpayer dollars, the more than $600 billion we currently spend nationwide reflects a large increase in funds over the last 30 years, in exchange for total stagnation – or worse, declines – in achievement. On the college level, subsidies meant to help college students struggling to pay tuition have instead caused prices to skyrocket well above inflation.

Instead of throwing more money at the problem, it’s time to let parents take back control over their children’s educations by allowing them to apply competitive pressure to schools and educational providers. Innovative, parent-empowering choices such as charter schools, voucher programs, tax credit scholarships, homeschool, and education savings accounts allow each child the opportunity to reach his or her potential. In higher education, greater transparency is needed to ensure that students and parents know what they are paying for, and with what prospects they are likely to graduate.

Instead of endless top-down mandates, these revolutionary inroads into the education system are coming from the states. Forty-two states and the District of Columbia have laws on the books allowing charter schools to operate, while half the states have some form of private school choice program. The states should continue to expand parent choice and push educational institutions to compete with each other to provide the best product, just like providers of any other service.

Publications

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Model Policies

  • Neutrality and Integrity in Software Procurement Act Sunset Review

    Neutrality and Integrity in Software Procurement Act Summary This Act amends the state’s procurement rules to preserve choice, competition, and integrity in the state’s selection and installation of software products. It requires that software procurement decisions made by the state consider: (1) the total cost of ownership during the …

  • Teacher Quality and Recognition Demonstration Act Sunset Review

    Teacher Quality and Recognition Demonstration Act Summary The need for quality teachers in improving student achievement is generally recognized as one of the most crucial elements of state reform efforts. A primary concern in the quality of the performance of teachers is the forecast for an increasing need …

  • Teacher Choice Compensation Act Sunset Review

    Teacher Choice Compensation Act Summary This act creates a program where by teachers may be eligible for performance-based salary stipends if they opt out of their permanent contract and meet measurable student performance goals based on a value-added test instrument developed by the state department of education. Model …

  • Forming Open and Robust University Minds (FORUM) Act Final

    FORMING OPEN AND ROBUST UNIVERSITY MINDS (FORUM) ACT WHEREAS, the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and the _____ Constitution protect the rights of free speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and freedom of association for all citizens. WHEREAS, the Supreme Court has called public …

  • Partnerships for Student Success Final

      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of {State}: 38          Section 1. Section 53A-1-1209 is amended to read: 39          53A-1-1209. School Leadership Development Program. 40          (1) As used in this section, “school leader” means a school principal or assistant 41     principal. 42          (2) There is created the …

  • Resolution Supporting Homeschooling Freedom Final

    Whereas: It is the fundamental right of a parent to direct the upbringing, education and care of his or her child. Whereas: This right to direct the education of a child can be exercised in multiple choices including public, private or homeschooling. Whereas: Every child has unique abilities and challenges regarding how they …

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Task Forces

Education and Workforce Development

The mission of the ALEC Education and Workforce Development Task Force is to promote excellence in the nation’s educational system, …

Press Releases

  • Education Coalition Applauds Secretary DeVos, Stresses Importance of Educational Freedom in Joint Letter image

    Education Coalition Applauds Secretary DeVos, Stresses Importance of Educational Freedom in Joint Letter

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Taylor McCarty [email protected] 734-752-5646 Education Coalition Applauds Secretary DeVos, Stresses Importance of Educational Freedom in Joint Letter Arlington, VA (June …

  • Annual Report Ranks States on Quality of Education image

    Annual Report Ranks States on Quality of Education

    For Immediate Release Contact: Ashley Pratte [email protected] 571-482-5030 Arlington, VA (January 24, 2017)– An annual report released by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) ranks all …

  • National Education Report Card Ranks Massachusetts First, West Virginia Last image

    National Education Report Card Ranks Massachusetts First, West Virginia Last

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Kaitlyn Buss American Legislative Exchange Council 202.742.8526 [email protected] National Education Report Card Ranks Massachusetts First, West Virginia Last American Legislative Exchange …

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