Education Freedom in the States: Andrew Handel on Newt’s World

We strongly believe that public dollars should follow students, not systems, and parents should ultimately be the ones empowered and in charge when it comes to their kids education, not bureaucracies and unions.

Andrew Handel, ALEC Education and Workforce Development Task Force Director, spoke with former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich on the speaker’s podcast, Newt’s World, about the importance of education freedom within the states through such methods as education savings accounts (one of ALEC’s Essential Policy Solutions for 2023).

We want to bring together those public and private sector thought leaders and make sure that the best ideas are being exchanged and even the worst ideas are being discussed so that lawmakers around the country can learn from those experiences as well. Our goal on the education policy side is to promote education freedom for every single student across America. We strongly believe that public dollars should follow students not systems and parents should ultimately be the ones empowered and in charge when it comes to their kids’ education, not bureaucracies and unions.

Education savings accounts are accounts that parent’s control where the money goes. So, the state government will take whatever amount of money they were going to spend to teach that student in their public school. instead of sending it to that public school. they’ll put it into an account that the parent gets to direct. So, there’s a wide variety of pre-approved educational expenses that the money can be used for, not just private school tuition but standardized testing fees, special therapies for students with a disability. There’s a laundry list of things that parents can use it for, and most importantly, parents are in charge, they’re the ones that get to direct that money in a way that maximizes their child’s education.

What we really try to do in promoting these ESA or education savings account policies is to figure out how we can use that money more efficiently. We need to make sure the money is following students so that parents can those quarterly performing districts, for example, are able to find alternatives so that their children can succeed.

In Depth: Education

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…

+ Education In Depth