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

  • Teacher Quality Assurance Act Sunset Review

    Teacher Quality Assurance Act Summary This model policy prohibits a school district from utilizing a last-hired, first-fired layoff policy when reducing staff. Additionally, the model policy requires the Education Interim Committee, in consultation with the State Board of Education, to study how the performance of teachers may be …

  • Amendments to the Great Schools Tax Credit Program Act (Scholarship Tax Credit) Draft

    Amend the Great Schools Tax Credit Program Act (Scholarship Tax Credit) as follows:   Section 3 (B): After “taxpayer’s tax liability.” add “Taxpayers may not claim the state tax credit if in the same tax year they also pay the federal alternative minimum tax and claim a federal charitable tax …

  • The Economic Development Zone ESA Act (Amendments to the Education Savings Account Act) Draft

    The Economic Development Zone ESA Act       Section 1. {Title.} The Education Savings Account Act   Section 2. {Definitions.}   “Program” means The Education Savings Account program created in this subchapter.   “Eligible student” means either:   any elementary or secondary student who is eligible to attend a …

  • Environmentally Sustainable Charter School Admissions Act Draft

    Environmentally Sustainable Charter School Admissions Act Subsection 6(C) of the “Next Generation Charter Schools Act” will be amended as follows: (C) Enrollment Preferences (1) Any non-charter public school converting partially or entirely to a public charter school shall adopt and maintain a policy giving enrollment preference to students who reside …

  • Student Futures Program Act Sunset Review

    Student Futures Program Act Summary This act creates a career planning program. Model Policy Section 1. Title. This Act shall be known as the “Student Futures Program” Section 2. Definitions. (A) “Education provider” means: (1) {insert state} institution of higher education as defined in {insert …

  • School Turnaround and Leadership Development Act Final

    General Description: This bill enacts and amends provisions related to public education. Highlighted Provisions: This bill: defines terms; requires the State Board of Education to designate low performing schools, subject to certain conditions; requires a local school board to take certain actions to turn around a low …

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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

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