by Brenée Goforth
Communications Associate, John Locke Foundation
Last week, Carolina Journal’s Leonard Robinson III reported on a roundtable discussion between U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, N.C. Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, and school-choice advocates. The discussion focused on the U.S. Department of Education’s proposed Education Freedom Scholarships. According to Robinson:
If approved by Congress, the proposal would grant $5 billion in tax credits to individuals and businesses who donate to 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations supporting the efforts of private school scholarships, homeschooling, apprenticeships, and other supplemental educational activities. The activities include bringing online courses to public school students.
North Carolina could expect to get up to $162 million if all 50 states participate.
JLF’s education expert, Dr. Terry Stoops, attended the discussion.
The scholarship would be administered by nonprofit organizations rather than the government. These organizations would have to meet certain requirements:
For a nonprofit to take advantage of the proposal, it must meet three requirements: be a registered 501(c)3; be chosen by its state; and have less than 10% of its operating budget spent on administrative costs.
The proposal would have to pass through a Democratic House of Representatives and a Republican Senate, so it would likely face many challenges and revisions if it were to pass both houses at all. However, according to John Locke Foundation’s vice president of research and director of education studies, Terry Stoops:
“The Trump administration has introduced an initiative that has broad support among families and the education reform community… If Republicans retake control of Congress, then a coalition of school-choice advocates will be ready to help the law cross the finish line.”