Exclusive: Sen. Loeffler to Introduce Legislation Expanding School Choice for Low-Income and Disabled Students

Posted: Sep 10, 2020 10:15 AM
Exclusive: Sen. Loeffler to Introduce Legislation Expanding School Choice for Low-Income and Disabled Students

Source: AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Senator Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) plans to introduce legislation giving low-income and disabled students increased access to educational choice, as a member of the Senate's Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee. Loeffler’s “Choice for Every Child Act” gives individual states the authority to distribute federal funds to low-income students and those with disabilities, empowering them to have adequate access to educational choice.

The legislation allows for federal funds to be used for the public or private school of choice, or, alternatively, the funds can be used as direct payments to parents for at-home educational resources. In the case of children with disabilities, families can receive direct payments if they choose not to send their child to their local schools. 

“Each State may choose whether to have local educational agencies in the State distribute funds made available for eligible children who are enrolled in State-accredited private schools within each local educational agency’s geographic jurisdiction directly to such schools in accordance with subsection [(c)(3)(A)] or directly to the parents of such children,” it reads.

The Georgia Republican said that the bill promotes equal access to quality education, “regardless of zip code or income”:

“Parents who work and want to ensure their children receive a quality education need a lifeline,” Senator Loeffler said. “The Choice for Every Child Act will give families the opportunity to choose the educational option that fits their children’s needs best, whether that means a private school offering in-person instruction, homeschooling or pooling together with other families to hire a tutor. Crucially, this is not just a temporary fix to help parents weather the pandemic – it is a long-term solution that will ensure future generations have access to the best education possible, regardless of zip code or income.”

President Trump also called for educational funding to follow the child, in order to meet the needs of each individual student:

In the case of private schools, those institutions would not be subject to federal jurisdiction over their operations, and direct payments to working families would not be subject to taxation.