U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, Counselor Kellyanne Conway, State Leaders Highlight Urgent Need for Action on Education Freedom Scholarships

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, Counselor Kellyanne Conway, State Leaders Highlight Urgent Need for Action on Education Freedom Scholarships

October 1, 2019

WASHINGTON— Today, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos joined education reformers at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), including Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway, to discuss how students, parents, and educators would benefit from the administration’s Education Freedom Scholarships (EFS) proposal.

The proposal, which the Secretary introduced in February of this year, is the Trump administration's groundbreaking solution for improving educational outcomes and ensuring an equal opportunity for all students across the country. The policy will make a historic investment in America's students, injecting up to $5 billion yearly into locally-controlled scholarship programs that empower students to choose the learning environment and style that best meets their unique needs. The proposal has gained significant support in both the House and Senate, where companion bills have been introduced by Representative Bradley Byrne (R-AL) and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).

Following the Secretary’s remarks and panel discussion, a second panel convened with state education leaders from Tennessee, Arizona, and Pennsylvania. They discussed the ways in which they are rethinking education in their states to better serve students and the creative ways in which Education Freedom Scholarships could support those efforts.

To learn more about Education Freedom Scholarships, visit www.ed.gov/freedom.

To view the Secretary’s remarks at AEI and the subsequent panel discussions moderated by Rick Hess, resident scholar and director of education policy studies at AEI, click here.

QUOTES TO NOTE

“Our Education Freedom Scholarships proposal…doesn’t grow the government bureaucracy one tiny bit…It doesn’t impose any new requirements on states or on families. It doesn’t take a single dollar from public school students, and it doesn’t spend a single dollar of government money. And it doesn’t entangle schools with federal strings or stifling red tape. In fact, it can’t. And that’s by design.”

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“Education Freedom Scholarships are the conservative answer to what ails American education. They also happen to be the answer that a super-majority of parents, particularly African American and Hispanic parents, say they’re looking for.”

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“The key element of the proposal is freedom. Freedom for everyone involved. Students, families, teachers, schools, states… any and all can choose to participate in the program. Or they can elect not to participate. That’s what freedom is all about.”

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“Education freedom is pro-parent and pro-student. It is not anti-public school. If your school is working for your child, stay put…Education freedom isn’t about elevating one type of school over another—it’s about trusting parents and believing in students.”

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“Big union bullying is…unfair to the many students and parents who simply want better futures for their sons and daughters. I’ve been blessed to get to know many, many families who exercise education freedom…They couldn’t care less about how a school is legally structured or how the funds flow. They care about their kids.”