US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions

Alexander Celebrates National School Choice Week

Says “it’s time to free up our children to learn, free up our teachers to educate, and free up parents to decide what’s best for their child”

Tuesday, January 29, 2013Liz Wolgemuth (202) 224-8584

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“Our higher education system is the best in the world…When we let parents decide which elementary or high school is best for their children, we’ll see similar results.” –Lamar Alexander

 

WASHINGTON, Jan. 29 – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, today marked the celebration of National School Choice Week, saying, “it’s time to free up our children to learn, free up our teachers to educate, and free up parents to decide what’s best for their child.”

“Our higher education system is the best in the world because our colleges and universities have autonomy and compete for federal money that follows students to the school of their choice. When we let parents decide which elementary or high school is best for their children, we’ll see similar results.”

As senator, governor of Tennessee, and U.S. Secretary of Education, Alexander has supported elementary and secondary education policies that return most education decision-making to states and communities, as well as expand school choice and increase charter school options for parents and teachers.

In his last action as U.S. Education Secretary in 1992, Alexander sent a letter to all the nation’s school superintendents urging them to consider replicating the early successes of charter schools in Minnesota. As senator, in 2004 he introduced a proposal to establish a “Pell Grants for Kids” program that would provide annual $500 scholarships to children from low-income families to attend the public, private, or charter school of their choice. In 2011, Alexander introduced an amendment to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that was approved by the Senate HELP committee to require school districts to provide low-income students in persistently low-performing schools with public school choice options.  

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