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

  • 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 …

  • Campus Anti-Harassment Act Final

    General Description This bill enacts provisions related to harassment at an institution of higher education. Highlighted Provisions This bill: defines terms; enacts requirements related to how an institution of higher education addresses discriminatory harassment; prohibits an institution of higher education from punishing certain acts of speech that do not constitute …

  • The Assessment Choice Act Final

    Be it enacted by the Legislature of [STATE]: {Section 1. Menu of locally procured achievement assessments; requirements; rules} A. THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION SHALL ADOPT A MENU OF LOCALLY PROCURED ACHIEVEMENT ASSESSMENTS TO MEASURE PUPIL ACHIEVEMENT OF THE STATE ACADEMIC STANDARDS. BEGINNING IN THE XXXX –XXXX SCHOOL YEAR, EACH …

  • The Next Generation Charter Schools Act Final

    Section 1. {Title.} The Next Generation Charter Schools Act Section 2. {Declaration of Purpose.} 
(A) The General Assembly hereby finds and declares that (1) The Charter School Act of [year] as approved by this body has provided students in our state with high-quality public school choices while advancing overall academic …

  • Student and Family Fair Notice and Impact Statement Act Final

    An Act relating to student and family fair notice and impact statement requirements prior to the closing or Significant Restructuring of any charter school: Section 1. {Purpose} If any process is initiated that could lead to an action which would have the impact of closing or restructuring a charter school, …

  • Resolution in Support of Student-Centered Accountability Systems Final

    WHEREAS, The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) significantly restored the primacy of state policy- making in the area of public school accountability; and WHEREAS, the American Legislative Exchange Council supports federalism and the importance of the States leading in important areas of educational policy, such as the design and implementation …

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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

  • 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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