NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

EDUCATION END-RUN

October 31, 2005

The Family Education Reimbursement Act will provide school aid for victims of the Gulf Coast hurricanes and circumvent the bureaucracies that make it so difficult to speed federal relief to displaced students and the schools that take them in, says the Wall Street Journal.

The measure was introduced recently by House Education Committee Chairman John Boehner of Ohio and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana. Its implementation could not be simpler, says the Journal. Consider:

  • To create an account, parents could register on the Web, through a toll-free number or by signing up in person at a school; the accounts would provide up to $6,700 for each child, the average expenditure in states enrolling the bulk of Katrina's 372,000 displaced students.
  • Next, parents would provide the account number to the school enrolling the child, and the school would use that information to get reimbursed; all schools would be eligible -- public, private, parochial or charter.
  • The accounts would be portable so the money would follow the child in case a displaced family decides to move back home or relocate somewhere else; at the end of the school year any unused funds would go back to the Treasury.

The Journal says the problem with competing measures -- such as the Senate bill cosponsored by Republican Mike Enzi of Wyoming and Democrat Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts -- is that they filter federal relief through the existing education bureaucracy.

Source: Editorial, "Education End-Run," Wall Street Journal, October 27, 2005.

For text (subscription required):

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113037235625680679.html

For NCPA brief analysis on "Educating the Children of Katrina"

http://www.ncpa.org/pub/ba534/

 

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