U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.), along with Senators Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Richard Burr (R-N.C.), ranking member of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, introduced the Kids in Classes Act. The bill would allow families with children in Title I schools to put unused federal education funds toward in-person education, should their school close due to COVID-19 or a teachers union strike.
“School closures have failed America’s children, particularly students in marginalized communities whose families are living paycheck-to-paycheck,” said Senator Scott. “As districts continue to bow to the demands of labor unions, we must ensure our nation’s children are protected from further learning loss and isolation. Enabling all kids to achieve the American Dream starts with giving all kids the education they deserve—no matter their zip code.”
“Students are more successful when they are in the classroom, parents know that and data proves it,” said Senator Burr. “This legislation will help keep children in the classroom by giving families the option to continue using Title I funds at a different, in-person school should their child’s current public school close because of COVID-19. I’m proud to work with Senators Scott and Cassidy on this important legislation to help families avoid the devastating impacts of unnecessary school closures.”
“When teachers unions have more say in a child’s education than that child’s own parent, we have a problem,” said Dr. Cassidy. “The science is clear, kids need to be in the classroom. Our bill empowers parents to choose what is best for their child’s education.”
Congressman Chris Jacobs (R-N.Y.) is introducing companion legislation in the House of Representatives.
“For two years we have seen the damaging impacts of remote learning on our students. When schools are shut down, our children’s education suffers – this is unacceptable,” said Congressman Jacobs. “I am proud to join my Senate colleagues in introducing this critical piece of legislation that will ensure students are given consistent and uninterrupted access to in-person learning and quality education. Additionally, this legislation promotes school choice and access to the best educational outlets and services for low-income kids.”
Data shows that children living in the poorest 20 percent of neighborhoods in the United States will experience the most negative and long-lasting effects of school closures. The Kids in Classes Act would allow these children’s families to put unused Title I funds toward:
- Curricular materials;
- Books and instructional materials;
- Technological educational materials;
- Tutoring or educational classes outside the home;
- Private school tuition;
- Testing fees;
- Diagnostic tools; and
- Educational therapies for students with disabilities.
The Kids in Classes Act comes on the heels of National School Choice Week, during which Sen. Scott held a parental involvement panel to discuss the need for greater transparency within schools and hosted a policy panel featuring former Secretary Condoleezza Rice and Congressman Burgess Owens to discuss how to expand education opportunity to all children. Sen. Scott has also:
- Reintroduced the CHOICE Act to foster children’s success by providing parents greater educational options;
- Introduced a resolution celebrating National Charter Schools Week;
- Penned a Fox News op-ed about the merits of school choice;
- Held a discussion on the future of school choice with former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos;
- Released a video debunking myths surrounding school choice;
- Facilitated a meeting with School Choice Caucus members and former Secretary Condoleezza Rice to discuss protecting parental involvement in education; and
- Signed a resolution supporting parents’ rights to be fully and actively involved in their children’s education.