Politics

How will the Every Student Succeeds Act affect school choice?

School choice is typically a state issue. When Congress debated long-overdue reforms to No Child Left Behind this year, school choice was not the main focus, or even a secondary focus. A few amendments came up that would have allowed federal funding to follow a child to his or her school of choice, but none were approved.

When the various provisions of the Every Student Succeeds Act take effect, school choice should be largely unaffected. But you wouldn't know it by the number of celebratory press releases I received from pro-school choice groups after the Senate voted Wednesday to send the final bill to President Obama.

"The bill is a step forward in empowering parents with more options to determine the schools where their children learn best and gives the power back to states to determine how best to assess and improve its schools," PublicSchoolOptions.org said.

Patricia Levesque, CEO of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, praised the bill for including "enhanced support for charter schools (including the expansion and replication of successful charter school models)," among other reasons.

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