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Senate Proposals Would Expand Choice

Legislation introduced by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) would distribute $2,100 in Opportunity Scholarships for up to 11 million low-income children across the United States.

Called the “Scholarships for Kids” Act, the bill would divert $24 billion in federal education dollars to provide these Opportunity Scholarships.

A central intention of this bill is to encourage choice for families. By having money follow the student rather than sending money directly to local schools, families have more power in choosing the education that best fits a child’s needs.

Alexander’s bill supplements the CHOICE Act, another Senate proposal introduced by Sen. Tim Scott (R-South Car.) that aims to give Opportunity Scholarships to students with special needs.

Opportunity Scholarships in K-12 education have manifested primarily at the state and municipal levels of government. Research suggests in places such as the District of Columbia, Cleveland (OH), and Milwaukee (WI) that scholarships have had positive effects on student outcomes.

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