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

  • Act to Prohibit State Board of Regents from Investing Public University Trust Funds in Companies Associated with the Government of China Draft

    POLICY This state legislative chamber enacts as follows: SECTION 1. Relevant sections of the statutes governing how the state’s Board of Regents of the state’s public university system will be amended to prohibit investment in Chinese owned and associated companies. SECTION 2. The Board of Regents may invest revenues from…

  • Alternative Teacher Credentialing Act Draft

    SECTION 1: Definitions A) “Alternative teacher certification program” means a teacher certification program that is not provided by a public or private institution of higher education and has been approved by the [insert state] Department of Education.   SECTION 2: Alternative Teacher Credentialing A) The [insert state] Department of Education…

  • Honesty in Teaching Act Draft

    SECTION 1: Title This Act shall be known and may be cited as the Honesty in Teaching Act. SECTION 2: Definitions A) “Contractor” means an individual, organization, corporation or business that enters into a contract, or a subcontract pursuant to a contract, with a public-school entity. B) “Department” means the…

  • Free Speech in Higher Education Act Draft

    WHEREAS, public universities and community colleges have an obligation to uphold students’ First Amendment rights of free speech; WHEREAS, the opportunity for disagreements, differences of opinion, and even heated arguments, unless threatening or otherwise unlawful, are vital to a climate of inquiry; WHEREAS, excessive or unreasonable security fees, student-on-student harassment,…

  • The Hope Scholarship Act Final

    Section I – Hope Scholarship Program – Short Title This law shall be known as the “Hope Scholarship Act.” The program created by this act shall be known as the “Hope Scholarship Program.”   Section II. Compulsory Public School Attendance A. A child is exempt from the compulsory…

  • Academic Transparency Act Final

    Section I: Online Transparency A. Each school that is operated by a school district or charter school shall disclose on a publicly accessible portion of its website all of the following: The procedures or processes in effect for the school principal or other staff to document, review or approve lesson…

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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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