How EFS Can Expand Public Education Options

Breaking down barriers between zip code and opportunity by expanding access to public education options.

Problem

  • Most students in America are limited to attending a public school that is assigned to them. Although many families choose their public school by deciding where to live, only 14 percent of students are enrolled in a public school outside of their zoned school according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
  • The most vulnerable students in America do not have the freedom to pursue education opportunities in the same ways the rich, powerful, and connected families always have.

Solution

  • The Education Freedom Scholarships (EFS) proposal creates a $5 billion annual federal tax credit for voluntary donations to state-based scholarship programs, empowering elementary and secondary students and families to choose the right education options for them – regardless of where they live, how much they make, and how they learn.

How EFS Can Expand Public Education Options

  • States can design their programs to work hand-in-hand with existing public education options to enhance individual students’ education experiences, not replace them.
  • The scholarships can be focused on expanding access to education programs and services for public school students enrolled in:
    • District public schools, perhaps focusing on low-performing schools, or those in specific regions, such as urban or rural areas;
    • Out-of-district public schools;
    • Magnet schools;
    • Public virtual schools; and
    • Public charter schools.
  • The scholarships could cover allowable education expenses as defined by States, including, but not limited to:
    • Advanced courses, like Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate;
    • Elective courses, like art, music, or world languages;
    • Credit recovery or other remedial courses;
    • Tutoring services;
    • Special education services and therapies not required by a student’s Individualized Education Program;
    • Purchasing educational technology, including learning software or hardware.
    • Transportation to education providers outside of a family’s zoned school;
    • Open or dual enrollment allowing high school students to earn college credit; and
    • Fees for summer education programs and specialized after-school education programs.