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

  • Amendments to Textbook Cost Transparency Act Draft

    All existing sections and language in the Textbook Cost Transparency Act is struck and replaced with the following: SECTION 1.   DISSEMINATION OF COURSE SCHEDULE AND LIST OF REQUIRED AND RECOMMENDED COURSE MATERIALS. (a)  Definitions: (1)  “Course material” means a textbook, supplemental material, or open educational resource. (2)  “Institution of higher education,” means a public…

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

    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 gifts,…

  • The Hope Scholarship Act Draft

    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. Public School Support – Funding for Hope Scholarship Program Notwithstanding any other provision of this…

  • Academic Transparency Act Draft

    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…

  • Protecting Religious Homeschooling Act Draft

    Section 1. Religious Property Tax Exemption A property tax exemption based on religious purposes includes real property owned by a church which allows its premises to be used by an entity if such entity is not required to make rental payments to the church, is not required to execute a…

  • Homeschooled Student Access to Testing Act Final

    Model Policy Section 1 Upon request of a parent or guardian, resident school boards shall make Advanced Placement (AP), Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), PreACT, SAT, ACT and other similar examinations available to students receiving home instruction pursuant to [statutory reference]. Section 2 School boards shall notify such…

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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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