Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

House Vote Could Decide Fate of School Choice Plan for Key Group of Students

Advocates push to expand federally backed school choice under the Trump administration has pretty much fallen flat this Congress—but a House vote later this month might give them some hope.

As we've written before, Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., has introduced legislation to create education savings accounts using a relatively "small portion" of federal Impact Aid, which helps districts' whose tax base is impacted by government activities—think military bases. (However, the National Association of Federally Impacted Schools, which opposes the bill, says the Banks plan could ultimately divert a relatively large portion of Impact Aid's Basic Support payments, up to $450 million, into education savings accounts.) Typically, these accounts can be used for a variety of K-12 expenses, from textbooks to tutoring services. Supporters, including the Heritage Foundation, say the legislation would expand education options to an important population of students and would help military retention rates. They had hoped to attach Banks' bill to the National Defense Authorization Act as an amendment during a House hearing on the NDAA Wednesday.


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