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

  • The A-Plus Literacy Act Sunset Review

    Chapters of the A-Plus Literacy Act (1) School and District Report Cards and Grades. (2) School Recognition Program to financially reward schools for good/improving Report Card grades. (3) Opportunity Scholarships to provide alternatives for students in schools with poor Report Card grades. (4) Scholarships for Children …

  • Indiana Education Reform Package Sunset Review

    Chapters of the Indiana Education Reform Package (1) Charter Schools Act (2) School Scholarships Act (3) Teacher Evaluations and Licensing Act (4) Teacher Collective Bargaining Act (5) Turnaround Academies Act (6) Early Graduation Scholarship Act (7) Textbooks and Other Curricular Material Act   Chapter 1. Charter Schools Act …

  • Amendments: THE GREAT SCHOOLS TAX CREDIT PROGRAM ACT (SCHOLARSHIP TAX CREDITS) Draft

    Section 1. {Title} The Great Schools Tax Credit Program Act Section 2. {Definitions} (A) “Program” means the Great Schools Tax Credit Program. (B) “Eligible student” means a student who: (1)(i) is a member of a household whose total annual income the year before he or she receives an educational scholarship …

  • The Open Enrollment Act Sunset Review

    Section 1. {Purpose.} The Purpose of this Act is to improve educational achievement and to enhance the opportunity for parental choice in education by providing additional options to pupils in the state to enroll in public schools and educational programs throughout the state without regard to pupil residence.

  • Great Teachers and Leaders Act Sunset Review

    Section 1. {Legislative declaration.} (A) The Legislature hereby declares that: (1) A system to evaluate the effectiveness of licensed personnel is crucial to improving the quality of education in this state and declares that such a system shall be applicable to all licensed personnel in the …

  • Founding Principles Act Sunset Review

    Section 1. {Title.} Founding Principles Act. Section 2. {Findings.} The legislature finds and declares: Whereas, the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the signing of the United States Constitution in 1787 were seminal events in the history of the United States, the Declaration of Independence …

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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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