WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – While states continue to debate whether to fund school choice, the president has a federal option.
“Now is the time to fight for the forgotten child,” said President Donald Trump.
President Trump sat down with students, parents, and teachers at the White House Monday to talk about their common goal: to expand high-quality education to more schools.
“A lot of kids that I grew up with were either in prison or ended up shot and killed somewhere. I had a way to get out of that, a way to escape, and it was through my education.”
Walter Blanks and other students at the roundtable told President Trump they want all children to have the option to choose the public, private or charter school that’s right for them.
“I had a lot of my dreams come true. I was able to fit in,” said Sam Meyers, a student in Ohio.
Sam Myers’ mom, Tera, says school choice is important because every student learns differently.
“He was not even being given the opportunity to learn how to read.”
The Trump administration’s Education Freedom Scholarships proposal would allow individuals and companies to donate money to a scholarship fund and receive a federal tax credit.
Rebecca Friedrichs, a retired teacher, thinks it could be lifechanging.
“There’s never been a national move to try to provide school choice for every child,” said Friedrichs.
Opponents of school choice say it funnels money away from public schools and hurts students.
But the Trump administration says that’s not the case.
“Absolutely not. This is an effort to empower students and parents.”
Joe Grogan, the Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, argues the scholarship proposal doesn’t take away any money from the Department of Education.
“This is additional resources that would go directly to parents and students to make the decision,” said Grogan.
Now Congress has to decide whether to support it.
Several Republicans are already on board. The president hopes Monday’s meeting helps his plan gain more momentum in Congress.