Defense Bill Debate Could Cover School Choice Language, Help Bases Counter Threatening Drones

Defense Bill Debate Could Cover School Choice Language, Help Bases Counter Threatening Drones

One of the more controversial amendments that may be debated when the fiscal 2019 defense authorization bill hits the House floor this week would allow active-duty military families to create education savings accounts for their children using federal impact aid dollars. The funds could be used for private schools, online learning programs or tutors; attending a public school on a part-time basis, or college; instructional materials, computers and other equipment; educational services and therapies; fees for standardized exams; and other expenses. Participating children could not enroll in a public school on a full-time basis under the amendment offered by Jim Banks (R-Ind.). Participants would receive $4,500 or $2,500 in the first school year, depending on whether or not they lived within the boundaries of a “heavily impacted local educational agency.” House Democrats previously have warned that including a school choice provision in the authorization bill could jeopardize its prospects for passage. … Lawmakers have filed over 550 amendments to H.R. 5515. The House Rules Committee likely will block most of those from reaching the floor when it meets today and Tuesday. Another amendment affecting defense communities would expand the categories of military facilities where potentially threatening drones can be shot down. The rider, proposed by Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), would add training installations and facilities with mobility airlift missions to the current list which covers nine categories.

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