Press Releases

 

Entries in School Vouchers (17)

Monday
Jul222013

AFC - Educational Choice Becomes Reality in North Carolina 

New Bipartisan Program Creates New Educational Opportunities 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 21, 2013) – The American Federation for Children (AFC), the nation’s voice for educational choice, today applauded the North Carolina Legislature for creating the nation’s newest statewide voucher program, the third created this year. AFC encouraged legislators to remain committed to expanding the program, to ensure thousands of children from low-income families will have access to quality educational options. North Carolina’s new Opportunity Scholarship Act received bipartisan support and was included as part of the budget bill which cleared conference committee and is expected to pass both chambers before being presented to the governor. The program is tailored to children who participate in the federal free or reduced lunch program. 

“North Carolina took a historic and positive step forward by creating this initial educational choice program and we remain committed to ensuring the program expands in order to provide greater access for children from low-income families who are in need of quality educational options,” said Betsy DeVos, chairman of the American Federation for Children. “The bipartisan support for educational choice demonstrates the importance of this common sense education reform that empowers parents and puts kids first.”

Low-income families who qualify will be able to use a $4,200 voucher to send their child to the school of their choice. The program also includes strong testing and accountability measures.

In addition, the North Carolina Senate last week passed House Bill 269, known as the “Children with Disabilities Scholarship Grant,” which provides up to $6,000 to children with disabilities to pay for private school tuition or related special educational services. 

These important education reforms were aided by the strong local support and leadership of Darrell Allison and his team at Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina (PEFNC).

“Parents and children across North Carolina and school choice advocates nationwide are grateful for the efforts of PEFNC and the bipartisan members of the legislature who fought to pass educational choice in North Carolina," said Kevin P. Chavous, executive counsel for AFC. "We are certain that the program will be substantially oversubscribed by parents anxious to obtain better educational options for their children and we urge the legislature and Governor McCrory to continue their efforts to expand parental choice and help more disadvantaged children across the state."

The American Federation for Children is the nation's leading school choice advocacy organization and works in states across the country to help secure additional, high-quality educational options for families.

Friday
Mar292013

Josiah Bartlett Center - The Budget, CON, School Choice, and Safety's Cut 

Weekly Update from the
Josiah Bartlett Center


Keeping you up to date on our latest research
on the issues impacting New Hampshire


The state budget is a mess. So what’s new? House budget writers are working to make sense of that mess before Friday. Their budget will be different from the governor’s but likely leave a lot of work left to be done.

In New Hampshire, governors present a budget more or less fully formed to the legislature. Then the House of Representatives takes six weeks to develop their own draft, plug any holes in assumptions, and then pass that draft to the state senate for further work... Click here to keep reading.

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House Finance Wants to Revive CON Board

Due to Expire in 2015

The House Finance Committee has voted to bring the state’s Certificate of Need Board back from the brink of extinction. The panel yesterday approved an amendment to the state budget that would undo last year’s repeal of the Health Services Planning and Review Board. Click here to keep reading

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Indiana Supreme Court Upholds School Choice Vouchers

Upheld for Religious Schools as well

The Indiana Supreme Court’s has unanimously upheld that state’s controversial school choice program, defeating a union challenge to the tax-funded scholarships for low-income students... Click here to keep reading.

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Highway Fund Diversion: What Does Safety's Cut Pay For?


Continuing our look at the Highway Fund

As detailed in an earlier piece on the Highway Fund diversion the Department of Safety receives a sizeable portion of the revenue raised by the state Highway Fund. Historically the Department has received roughly between 24% and 32% of the amount collected, net of block grants to the municipalities... Click here to keep reading.

Thursday
Feb212013

NH House Republican Leaders Comment on Passage of Bill Repealing School Choice Tax Credit

CONCORD – Today House Republican Leader Gene G. Chandler (R-Bartlett), Deputy House Republican Leader David Hess (R-Hooksett) and House Republican Policy Leader Laurie Sanborn (R-Bedford) offered the following comments following the passage of HB370, a bill that would repeal the school choice tax credit program. The bill passed the House 188-151.

House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett)

“Choice in education should not only be available to the rich. No parent should be forced to send a child to a school that does not meet the child’s needs. This program became law less than one year ago. Its first program year was to be this year. We now have businesses who have committed donations and families who have applied for scholarships who are in limbo, not knowing if they will be able to receive those scholarships. This program should be given a fair chance to succeed or fail on its own merits.”

Deputy House Republican Leader David Hess (R-Hooksett)

“This bill repeals a completely need based scholarship opportunity that makes programs of academic excellence available to moderate and low income families. We poured hundreds of hours into ensuring the program would not adversely affect school districts or state revenue. Now a politically motivated bill has threatened to end the program before it can be fully assessed. It’s unfortunate for those families and children who could benefit.”

House Republican Policy Leader Laurie Sanborn (R-Bedford)

“No child learns exactly the same and each child has his or her talents and strengths. Unfortunately, other than the choice to uproot and move to a different school district, most middle class families have lacked choice in education, which is a barrier preventing many children from achieving their full potential. It’s a real shame the Democrat controlled House voted today to take that opportunity away from our state’s lower income families. Parents know their children best and we should allow families to make choices together that are in the best interest of individual students. We made a promise to the hundred of families who have already applied for financial assistance. We hope the repeal fails in the Senate and we’re able to give this program and the children it helps a chance to succeed.”

Friday
Feb012013

Alliance for School Choice Unveils School Choice Yearbook 2012-13

Almost A Quarter-Million Students Enrolled in Private School Choice Programs This Year, According to New School Choice Yearbook

Single-year private school choice program enrollment growth is largest in American history

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 1, 2013)—More than 245,000 children are participating in publicly funded private school choice programs across the nation, according to the School Choice Yearbook 2012-13—the annual award-winning publication offering the most comprehensive data on the nation’s 32 private school choice programs—released today by the Alliance for School Choice.

Download the Yearbook at www.AllianceforSchoolChoice.org/Yearbook.

Among this year’s landmark findings:

  • A total of 245,854 students are enrolled in private school choice programs in the United States, an increase of more than 35,000 students from a year ago. It represents the largest single-year increase in private school choice program enrollment in American history.
  • Five new programs were enacted last year, and a remarkable bipartisan expansion of the New Orleans voucher program has now made the scholarship program available to children all across Louisiana.
  • Eleven of the 32 private school choice programs are specifically tailored to serve children with special needs, benefiting more than 30,000 students nationwide.
  • Nearly all of the children participating in America’s private school choice programs come from low- or middle-income families or are students with special needs.
  • Florida is home to the most students benefiting from private school choice, with more than 76,000 students participants in the state’s two existing programs. Two states—Ohio and Arizona—have four school choice programs each.

Following a year that saw educational choice expansions that included continued growth of public charter schools, public school choice, and expansions of options like education savings accounts and virtual schools, the Yearbook chronicles how much of the education reform successes in 2012 were made possible as a result of private school choice gains.

“This year’s remarkable growth for educational choice in all its forms is a testament to the hard work of tireless advocates all across the country,” said Yearbook coauthor Malcom Glenn, the national director of communications at the Alliance. “The gains of 2012 give us great momentum towards helping even more kids in the year ahead.”

The Alliance’s annual Yearbook, entitled School Choice Now: The Power of Educational Choice, is a collection of the nation’s most accurate data on private school choice programs across the country. The 2012-13 edition, which was coauthored by Alliance Director of External Affairs Randan Swindler, contains an analysis of educational choice trends and information, a directory of the accountability provisions and requirements for each of the nation’s 32 private school choice programs, and a chronicle of the past year’s events.

“It’s fitting that we’re releasing our Yearbook during National School Choice Week, when people all across the country are celebrating giving parents quality options,” said Kevin P. Chavous, executive counsel to the Alliance. “Now is the time for people to recognize how more lives than ever are changing as a result of educational choice.”

The Alliance for School Choice is a leading national organization promoting educational choice. For more information, or to download the Yearbook, visit www.AllianceForSchoolChoice.org.

This release is available to read online here.

www.AllianceforSchoolChoice.org

Friday
Jan112013

American Federation for Children Spent More Than $7 Million in 2012

Expands Educational Choice Support Across the Country

New report shows that leading educational choice group and its affiliates influenced more than 200 political races

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 10, 2012)—A new report released today by the American Federation for Children—the nation’s voice for educational choice—reveals that the Federation and its affiliated organizations spent more than $7 million on political races in 2012, helping elect nearly 200 candidates from across the country who have pledged to enact, expand, and strengthen educational choice for America’s children.

The Federation’s 2012 Election Impact Report—the third annual report detailing the organization’s investments in political races nationwide—profiles its investments in 219 races in nine different states—Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. In total, 83 percent of the candidates supported by the organization and its affiliates in 2012 won their elections.

This year’s political involvement by the Federation and its affiliated organizations represents one of their largest investments ever, reinforcing their pledge to ensure that high-quality, accountable school choice legislation is enacted for children in greatest need of better educational opportunities.

“Our work in these elections is fundamentally important to the future of creating more, better, and higher-impact education reform across the country,” said Kevin P. Chavous, executive counsel to the American Federation for Children and a former Washington, D.C., Council member. “Through supporting a dynamic coalition of both Democratic and Republican lawmakers who are committed to improving the lives of children, especially those from low-income families, we can transform the lives of more young people than ever before through educational choice.”

Approximately 40 percent of the Federation’s total contributions to candidates in 2012 went to Democrats, an indication of the growing bipartisanship present in the educational choice movement.

The Federation and its affiliated organizations use candidate questionnaires to determine which candidates will support educational choice if elected.  Support comes via combination of direct contributions, independent expenditures, and in-kind expenditures, as well as strategic placement of radio and television advertisements.

The 2012 Election Impact Report also features profiles of some of the most noteworthy newly-elected choice supporters as well as incumbents from across the states, including: Arizona Sens. Barbara McGuire (D) and Kimberly Yee (R), Florida Rep. Bruce Antone (D), Indiana Gov.-Elect Mike Pence, North Carolina Sen. Malcolm Graham (D), North Carolina Reps. Marcus Brandon (D) and Rob Bryan (R), Ohio Rep. Bill Patmon (D), Pennsylvania Reps. Jim Christiana (R) and Vanessa Lowery Brown (D), Tennessee Reps. John DeBerry (D) and Tony Shipley (R), as well as Wisconsin State Sen. Rick Gudex (R) and Wisconsin Rep. Kathy Bernier (R).

Nationwide, there are 32 publicly-funded private school choice programs in 16 states and the District of Columbia. This year, it is anticipated that approximately 250,000 children will participate in these programs.

To download the Federation’s 2012 Election Impact Report, click here.

Read this release online here.

www.FederationforChildren.org