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Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos called into “Tony Katz Today” this Wednesday afternoon to discuss the Trump administration’s recent unveiling of the “Education Freedom Scholarships” – a proposal to “expand and improve education options.”

The Facts:

The policy will make a historic investment in America’s students, injecting up to $5 billion yearly into locally controlled scholarship programs that empower students to choose the learning environment and style that best meets their unique needs. The policy would not rely on any funds currently allocated to public education, nor would it create a new federal education program. Participation would be voluntary for students, schools, and states.

The Interview:

“This is about expanding options and opportunities for all kids,” DeVos told WIBC host Tony Katz. “It’s not about one specific kind of choice or kind of school, it’s really about unleashing an opportunity for states to craft programs that are going to meet the needs of the students in their states.”

Secretary DeVos told Katz that while Indiana currently offers some tremendous school choice options for students and their parents, the Education Freedom Scholarships proposal would dramatically expand those existing programs and offer far more opportunities for the students who need it most.

More Facts:

EFS will be funded through taxpayers’ voluntary contributions to state‐identified Scholarship Granting Organizations (SGOs). Those taxpayers will then receive a non‐refundable, dollar‐for‐dollar federal tax credit. EFS will not create a new federal education program but instead will allow states to decide whether to participate and how to select eligible students, education providers, and allowable education expenses.

More Interview:

“Individuals could take up to 10{33c7a55facb4cf7a957787771078960a6f8f21e4360f0c5ef574af68d5180089} of their adjusted gross income, corporations up to 5{33c7a55facb4cf7a957787771078960a6f8f21e4360f0c5ef574af68d5180089} until that $5 billion annual federal cap is met,” explained DeVos. 

The plan would allow participants to designate a portion of their federal income tax burden to a 501(c)(3) organization that is designated for the program by states that choose to participate.

Secretary DeVos said states would not be compelled to participate in the program. 

“They will be able to opt-in and decide if this is something that is right for them,” she said.

Click the link below to hear Tony’s full interview with Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.