Did you know that over half of military families live in states with no school choice options? And even if they do live in one of the 27 states that offer school choice, a parent’s military assignment can require moving to a location with limited options.
All families, especially military families, deserve access to a broad array of educational choices. Expanding school choice and putting parents in charge is the best way to ensure that military families can meet their children’s educational needs, regardless of where they are stationed.
Earlier this month, Representative Jim Banks introduced the Education Savings Accounts for Military Families Act in the House of Representatives. Shortly thereafter, Senator Ben Sasse and Senator Tim Scott introduced the Military Education Savings Act of 2018, the Senate companion bill to Rep. Banks’ bill.
Their bills would allow military families to set up military Education Savings Accounts to fund education-related expenses, including online classes, private school tuition, tutoring, special education services, instructional materials, and more. The accounts would be tax-free and the cost would be financed by an existing federal program, the Impact Aid program, which currently sends federal dollars to district schools and then assigns military children to those schools. Instead, military Educations Savings Accounts will allow parents to decide how the money is spent and can choose the education option that best suits their child’s needs.
According to a survey conducted by the Military Times, more than a third of military personnel have considered leaving military service due to dissatisfaction with their children’s education. Establishing military Education Savings Accounts will give parents more control over their children’s education and help ensure that military children have access to quality education services.
The men and women who serve our country, and their families, deserve the very best our nation has to offer. Or as Rep. Jim Banks put it, “Those who serve our country in uniform make many personal sacrifices, but they should not have to sacrifice their child's education.”
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