School Choice funding without school vouchers



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School Choice Act


An act relating to K through 12 education; creating the "School Choice Act"; providing purpose and definitions; providing for the value of credits and a child-centered delivery system; providing for certification standards; providing for distribution of Choice alternatives information; providing duties of the Department of Education and district school boards; providing an effective date.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of ______________:

Section 1. This act may be cited as the "School Choice Act"

Section 2. The purpose of this act is to improve student outcomes by: empowering parents with financial control over how education dollars are spent, making schools responsive to parents and students curriculum demands, creating competition among schools, expanding the range of educational alternatives, relating education spending to measurable results, freeing principals and teachers to innovate to serve student's unique needs, and reducing the burden of public capital expenditures to keep up with population growth.

Section 3. As used in this act: (1) Public School means government schools controlled by a publicly elected school board. (2) Non-Public schools means all other educational systems. (3) Choice School means a student's tuition credits are eligible to be applied to its tuition. (4) Exceptionalities mean the 10 educational exceptionalities previously defined by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Section 4. Nothing in this act shall diminish the district school board's ability to promulgate rules and regulations for the schools under its charge.

Section 5. Every child eligible for free or subsidized education shall have his/her tuition account credited at the school of the parents choosing subject to the following: (1) The school shall be a government school, or a Choice School as defined in Section 6. (2) The credit shall be reduced by days not in attendance.

Section 6. Any school producing 80% of its students able to pass statewide achievement tests at a level appropriate to their age and mental capability will, upon application, be certified a Choice School. There shall be no withholding of certification for any reason unless it is directly related to this objective performance criterion. The state shall not prescribe curriculum.

Section 7. During the first two years after enactment, the Educational Funding Plan shall continue to allocate per-student funds using funding formulas substantially the same as in the current year. Thereafter, all funding shall be based on successful student achievement as measured by statewide achievement tests, with no increases going to schools in the lowest 40% improvement ranking districtwide. This provision is intended to make it easier for schools starting at a lower base score to achieve larger percentage increases.

Section 8. The Department of Education shall maintain revise and administer achievement testing to a statistically significant and accurate cross section of students in each school. Tests shall correctly measure skills necessary for a productive citizenry, and not favor particular religious beliefs, or ethnic background. Progress of students with exceptionalities shall be rated on a separate scale that challenges their full potential, appropriate to their exceptionality.

The Department of Education shall develop online systems by which parents may obtain competitive ratings to make well-informed decisions on the types of programs available, how each school compares to all other schools on criteria measured uniformly within the state, and how well each school is meeting its unique objectives. District school boards and Choice Schools shall aggressively distribute this information to insure that all parents and students are aware of the competing educational opportunities available to them.

Section 9. During the first four years after enactment, students choosing to attend non-government schools will receive credits worth 80% of their value at government schools. In the fifth year, the premium for government schools will expire.

Section 10. If a Choice School charges less than the maximum credits allowed to a student, the district school board shall deposit the balance in the state's College Tuition Plan in that student's name to be used according to that plan's rules, or to supplement later kindergarten through grade 12 tuition for that student. These funds shall never be paid directly to the student.

Section 11. Choice Schools will submit monthly attendance rolls to the district school board. The board will credit the account of each bona-fide student at that school for the amount specified elsewhere in this act. The state department of education will aggressively audit attendance rolls and prescribe strict penalties for inaccuracies.

Section 12. A non-government school operating less than five years shall maintain a letter of credit or performance bond, equal to 3 months tuition from Choice students, payable to the district school board, which shall be forfeit in the event the school fails to meet performance standards of a Choice School.

Section 13. If any provision of this act or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the act that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this act are declared severable.

Section 14. This act shall take effect July 1, 20xx.

Why draft model reform legislation with only a small chance of enactment under the present circumstances? Nobel Laureate in Economics, Milton Friedman, offered this: is worth discussing radical changes, not in the expectation that they will be adopted promptly but for two other reasons. One is to construct an ideal goal, so that incremental changes can be judged by whether they move the institutional structure toward or away from that ideal. The other reason is very different. It is so that if a crisis requiring or facilitating radical change does arise, alternatives will be available that have been carefully developed and fully explored.


You are welcome to use the preceding model legislation as a pattern for your state. Specially crafted to avoid complicated language and legalisms, it follows the principles in Advanced School Choice Without Vouchers.

If you choose to endorse this legislation and eMail written permission, we will include your link on a forthcoming endorsement page. Be sure to include any associated group name, your position, and an eMail address we can use to confirm.


This article brought to you by 4Choice, dedicated to School Choice without School Vouchers.

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