Congressman Luke Messer

Representing the 6th District of Indiana

Congressman Messer introduces sweeping Education Choice bill

Feb 5, 2014
Press Release

Congressman Messer introduces sweeping Education Choice bill

Says legislation will “empower parents and level the playing field” for low-income children

WASHINGTON--Today Congressman Luke Messer, who serves on the House Education and the Workforce Committee and chairs the Congressional School Choice Caucus, introduced sweeping school choice legislation that will allow states like Indiana to expand educational freedom for low-income and disadvantaged children stuck in poorly performing schools.

The Scholarships for Kids Act provides the following flexibilities for states using federal K-12 education funding allocated for low-income students:

  • Frees up $24 billion in existing federal education funds, an average of $2,100 for each of the 11 million students of families living in poverty
  • Allows parents to use that money to pay for private school tuition and fees, supplement their public school or charter school budget, attend a school outside of their district or purchase tutoring services or homeschooling materials
  • Gives states the flexibility to use federal education funds to support their own efforts to expand school choice for low-income families including the 16 states with private school choice programs and 42 states with inter-district public school choice programs

“No child should have to go to a school where they won’t have a meaningful chance to learn,” said Congressman Luke Messer. “This bill empowers parents with the personal freedom to choose the best learning environment for their child regardless of income.  Quality education is the great equalizer in the game of life, and bills like this one, which offer parents a choice, level the playing field.”

Congressman Messer’s bill is the companion to that introduced by Senator Lamar Alexander who is the ranking Republican on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and formerly served as Secretary of Education under President George H.W. Bush.  Senator Alexander had the following to say about the bill being introduced today in the House: “This is the most ambitious proposal ever to use federal dollars to enable states to expand school choice, and is a real answer to inequality in America, giving more children more opportunity to attend a better school. I look forward to working with Congressman Messer to get this bill through Congress and signed into law.”

Congressman Messer delivered a speech on the House floor today introducing his colleagues to the Scholarships for Kids Act.  For a link to the video, click here.