Heritage Foundation on Education



Online & Voc-Ed programs, instead of free community college

Some policymakers have proposed making community college free at the point of delivery, financed entirely by taxpayers. Such proposals would subject community colleges to the same types of subsidies-induced inflation endemic at four-year institutions. And low-income students already have access to federal Pell Grants, which can cover the bulk of community college tuition.

Indeed, the idea of "free" community college itself is misleading, because the American taxpayer would pick up the tab entirely for a community college system--just as the K-12 system is today--such proposals are more likely to look like extended high school than a rigorous higher education experience.

By contrast, a more open market of alternative schooling models, such as online or vocational education programs, could better tailor degrees at a lower cost. Improving the higher education system overall requires targeting the actual root cause of tuition inflation: unfettered federal subsidies and grants.

Source: Heritage Action 2016 voting recommendation on Free College , Jul 15, 2016

Voucher schools are more successful than public schools

The House will vote to reauthorize the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results (SOAR) Act (H.R. 10). The bill would continue funding through Fiscal Year 2021 and allow eligible students in Washington, D.C. to enroll in a participating private school.

It is impossible to ignore the success of school choice in our nation's capital. In 2010, the Obama administration "found that students in the voucher program had a 91% graduation rate, compared to 70% in the control group." By one estimate, 98% of students participating in the program would have otherwise attended underperforming public schools during the 2013-2014 school year. [One advocate of DC school choice said]: "In each of the fights to bring school choice, we have seen many parents, for the first time, become partners of change, excited about how their children are learning and what lies ahead for them in obtaining the American dream of getting the quality education they deserve."

Source: Heritage Action 2015-16 voting recommendation on HR10 , Oct 21, 2015

A-PLUS lets states escape No Child Left Behind

An amendment to the Student Success Act (H.R. 5), known as A-PLUS, would give the states the ability to escape No Child Left Behind's prescriptive programmatic requirements, consolidate their federal education funds and use them for any lawful education purpose they deem beneficial.

The Heritage Foundation explains that the Academic Partnerships Lead Us to Success (A-PLUS) proposal "has long been part of the conservative vision for restoring state and local control of education." At its core, A-PLUS delivers on the promise of "restoring state and local control over the 10 percent of education funding financed by the federal government," moving dollars out of the hands of federal bureaucrats and political appointees and into the hands of those closer to the students. Now is the time for Congress to restore federalism in education, empower parents and students instead of bureaucrats and unions, and remove archaic obstacles that have prevented true opportunity for all.

Source: Heritage Action 2015-16 voting recommendation on HR5 , Jul 8, 2015

Support Colorado voucher system: 75% funding to any school

In a huge victory for school choice, the Colorado Court of Appeals last month overturned the injunction placed on the Douglas County Choice Scholarship Program (CSP). The CSP is Colorado's only school-choice voucher program. Any student who lives within the Douglas County School District is eligible to apply to receive up to 75% of the state per-pupil funding to attend a school of choice [including religious schools]. If there are more applicants than scholarships, a lottery is held to award the vouchers. Parents may also pay out of pocket to supplement the voucher coverage.

It is a travesty for Americans to be forced into only one option for their children's schooling. School choice has proven, time and time again, to produce better educational outcomes than government-assigned schools. School choice has led to improved academic outcomes, higher graduation rates and increased student safety.

Source: Kloster & Corona on 2013 campaign website heritage.org , Mar 28, 2013

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Page last updated: Apr 30, 2021