Kelly, Cassidy unveil bicameral Educational Choice for Children Act

U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) and U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) joined their Republican colleagues to offer bicameral legislation that would provide scholarships to an estimated two million students attending any elementary or secondary education setting to cover tuition, fees, book supplies, and equipment.

The Educational Choice for Children Act, S. 120/H.R. 531, would allow a credit against tax for charitable donations to nonprofit organizations providing education scholarships to qualified elementary and secondary students, according to the congressional record bill summary.

“Parents should have a greater say in their child’s education, and this bill does just that,” Rep. Kelly said. “Our children make up about 25 percent of the U.S. population, but they are 100 percent of our future. We must give parents and children every opportunity to pursue the education that is best for them and that puts them on the best path forward from day one.”

Rep. Kelly is among 26 original cosponsors of H.R. 531, which was sponsored on Jan. 26 by U.S. Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE). Among the Republicans who joined Rep. Kelly as a cosponsor are U.S. Reps. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA), Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA), Michelle Steel (R-CA), Nancy Mace (R-SC), and John Moolenaar (R-MI).

Sen. Cassidy on Jan. 26 sponsored S. 120 with 14 original cosponsors, including U.S. Sens. Steve Daines (R-MT), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Tim Scott (R-SC), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Todd Young (R-IN), and Thom Tillis (R-NC). 

“Parents deserve the right to make the best educational decision for their child, regardless of income,” said Sen. Cassidy. “Our bill empowers families to pick the school that best fits their children’s needs.”

If enacted, the Educational Choice for Children Act would provide $10 billion in annual tax credits to be made available to taxpayers. Allotment of these credits to individuals would be administered by the U.S. Treasury Department, according to a bill summary provided by the lawmakers.

Additionally, the bill would authorize that a base amount be set for each state and then the credits would be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis, the summary says, noting that the measure uses a limited government approach with respect to federalism, thus avoiding mandates on states, localities, and school districts.

The measure is supported by the Invest in Education Coalition, the American Federation for Children, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Home School Legal Defense Association, and the Association of Christian Schools International, among others.