By Quin Hillyer at the Washington Examiner;

The new Education Freedom Scholarships proposed Thursday by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos are an absolutely wonderful idea.

I know, because I’ve seen them work at a very personal level here in Alabama.

The bill creating the scholarships will be introduced in the House by my local U.S. House member, Republican Bradley Byrne, and in the Senate by Republican Ted Cruz of Texas. As DeVos, Cruz, and Byrne explained in a USA Today column announcing their initiative, “the program would offer a dollar-for-dollar federal income tax credit for contributions to [state-based] nonprofit organizations that provide scholarships for individual elementary and secondary school students. … This program won’t take a single cent from local public school teachers or public school students. In fact, some states may choose to use the scholarships to enhance and improve already existing public school options.”

The proposal is based on several, almost-identical state-based programs, including one here in Alabama that Byrne closely has been able to observe. The Alabama Accountability Act has been both effective and widely popular, with its recipients often outspokenly grateful.

Please forgive the first-person testimony (and the necessary admission of bias), but I’ve served for years on a board of a little school whose students have benefited immeasurably from the Alabama program.

Prichard Prep School is a small private school funded overwhelmingly by outside contributions. (Parents or grandparents do chip in a small portion of tuition so they will have “skin in the game.”) It sits in the middle of an impoverished community, in a municipality that has been in and out of bankruptcy several times in the past 15 years. Its student body is 99 percent African American, and (last I checked) about 65 percent federal “ school lunch eligible.” Yet, its students consistently test about a year-and-a-half above grade level….

[The rest of the column is at this link.]

 

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