A legislative proposal to allow military families to set up education savings accounts to pay for private school tuition, textbooks, tutoring, online courses and other educational expenses will not receive the backing of the Trump administration, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos told lawmakers Tuesday. The proposal from Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) has quickly gained momentum in the House, picking up 70 co-sponsors. But DeVos told the House Education and the Workforce Committee that even though she supports the goal of expanding educational options for military families, “the vehicle of using an Impact Aid funding stream is not one that I support and that the administration supports.” The measure would provide either $4,500 or $2,500 to military families, and would be funded by reallocating their Impact Aid contributions.
In questioning from Banks, who recently was added to the panel, DeVos said military families shouldn’t have to decide between serving their country and obtaining a good education for their children, reported the 74. “We need to be sensitive to military families’ needs, and we have to, I think, support the fact that we have invested much into these individuals to help them become highly trained and capable … To lose individuals prematurely because they are not able to make education choices for their children that work for their children I think is just a travesty,” said the secretary, an ardent backer of school choice.
Banks also offered H.R. 5199 as an amendment to the defense authorization bill the chamber is debating this week, but the Rules Committee did not include it in a package of amendments that would go to the floor.
Photo by Gage Skidmore