Lee, Messer Introduce Bill to Give Parents More Control Over K-12 Education Decisions

January 29, 2015

WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Mike Lee of Utah and Congressman Luke Messer of Indiana introduced legislation to make a quality K-12 education more accessible and affordable to low-income parents and students. The “Enhancing Educational Opportunities for All Act” significantly empowers parents by giving them greater control over choosing a school that’s best for their child, as well as more flexibility in planning and saving for education-related expenses.

“There is no group that cares more about the future of this country than America’s moms and dads,” said Lee. “They have the awesome responsibility of raising the next generation and making sure our kids are ready to meet the challenges to come.  That’s exactly why they deserve more control over their children’s education than current federal policy allows.  We should do everything in our power to remove the obstacles preventing America's parents from choosing the best education options for their children."

“For our students to compete in the 21st Century global economy, they need to have access to a high-quality education,” said Congressman Luke Messer. “Right now, that’s not a reality for too many kids.  The Enhancing Educational Opportunities for all Students Act will not only help make access to a great education possible for more students, but also more affordable for families.”

The “Enhancing Educational Opportunities for All Act” has three primary components aimed at making sure that educational decision-making authority resides in the home with parents and guardians, not with federal bureaucrats in Washington.

    • The first provision provides for full Title I portability which would allow Title I funds to follow low-income students to any public or private school of their choice.

    • The second provision takes the much-needed step of removing contribution limitations on Coverdell Education Savings Accounts. Coverdell Accounts are the lone tax break available to parents for kindergarten through twelfth grade expenses. 

    • The final provision expands “529” Savings Accounts to K-12 elementary and secondary education expenses, providing a second option available to families to pay for K-12 educational expenses.

“All students should have access to a high quality education. This legislation will empower parents to invest more in heir child's education and allow parents to choose what school best meets their child's needs,” Lee added.