Moolenaar, Daines propose A Plus Act to put education dollars in control of states

U.S. Rep. John Moolenaar (R-MI) and U.S. Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) recently sponsored legislation that would give states more control over how taxpayers’ money is spent on education. 

“Parents know what is best for their children and this legislation will empower states and communities to provide parents with the best opportunities for students,” Rep. Moolenaar said on Feb. 1. “Programs created by Washington bureaucrats are not able to serve every community across this country.” 

Rep. Moolenaar on Jan. 30 sponsored the Academic Partnerships Lead Us to Success (A Plus) Act, H.R. 631, with nine Republican original cosponsors. The bill would allow a state to submit a declaration of intent to the U.S. Secretary of Education to combine certain funds to improve the academic achievement of students, according to the text of the bill.

“The needs of students are different, whether they are in Michigan, Texas, California, or New York,” said Rep. Moolenaar. “The A Plus Act will eliminate burdensome regulations and help states address the biggest needs of parents and students at the state and local level.”

H.R. 631 is companion legislation to the same-named S. 110, which Sen. Daines sponsored on Jan. 26, also alongside nine GOP original cosponsors, including U.S. Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Tim Scott (R-SC), and Joni Ernst (R-IA).

“Education tax dollars belong closer to Montana classrooms, not in the hands of D.C. bureaucrats,” Sen. Daines said. “Montana parents and teachers know what Montana students need best.” 

The purpose of the bill, according to its text, is to give states and local communities added flexibility to determine how to improve academic achievement and implement education reforms; to reduce the administrative costs and compliance burden of federal education programs in order to focus federal resources on improving academic achievement; and to ensure that states and communities are accountable to the public for advancing the academic achievement of all students, especially disadvantaged children.

“Congress should empower state and local leaders to have more of a say in the classroom and allow Montanans to better utilize their tax dollars spent on education,” said Sen. Daines.