Most of the GOP Senate’s $1 trillion pandemic spending proposal unveiled Monday isn’t money well spent. But it does have at least one useful idea: scholarships for children to attend the schools of their choice in the fall.
The bill would appropriate $70 billion for K-12 schools plus $5 billion that governors can spend at their discretion. Two-thirds of the K-12 funding is designated for schools that physically reopen. Those that continue online education don’t need more money for protective equipment and other safety supplies and will save money on overhead.
Here’s the innovation: Republicans also require that states share their K-12 funds with private schools based on the number of low-income students, and the bill authorizes state scholarships for students who attend private schools or are home-schooled. Many private schools are doing the work to reopen safely in places where public schools stay closed.