Empower Parents to Make Education Choices

Policy Priorities

Empower Parents to Make Education Choices

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The education system is failing our children—from the scourge of woke ideas like critical race theory and radical gender ideology to the lack of accountability to parents and an absence of academic transparency. Parents, not bureaucrats, should be making teaching and learning decisions that align with their values. Taxpayer dollars should help students to succeed with a great education, not prop up failing school systems. The entire Heritage enterprise will spearhead reforms at the state level to protect parental rights and expand education choice and will work at the federal level to limit Washington’s intervention, ultimately driving a clarion call to eliminate the U.S. Department of Education.

Empowering parents requires rooting out federal intervention in education everywhere it exists, breaking up the accreditation cartel, eliminating the racist ideas of critical race theory and other woke ideology from the classroom, and enabling education choice. However, under any electoral outcome, we will have a divided government in the 118th Congress beginning in 2023. Therefore, each of the following goals has been created to represent the material progress that we must attain to accomplish this vision. 

The Heritage enterprise will work to minimize the federal government’s intervention in education.

Minimizing federal intervention in education includes supporting the introduction of federal legislation to (1) give states more budget authority over federal education funding with fewer strings, (2) reduce federal intervention in early childhood education by reforming programs such as Head Start, and (3) expand families’ access to homeschooling by reforming 529 savings accounts to include homeschooling expenses and by expanding and making permanent the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program.

Additionally, we will create a coalition of scholars, Members of Congress, and conservative movement allies to build momentum and call for the phaseout of the U.S. Department of Education to reduce the federal bureaucracy’s involvement in education.

We will also encourage the House to pass an appropriations amendment to bar the President from issuing any further student loan forgiveness. Halting federal student loan forgiveness is a necessary step to take in conjunction with efforts to get the federal government out of the student loan business altogether. The federal student loan program has had a massive inflationary effect on the cost of college, has left taxpayers exposed to $1.7 trillion in outstanding student loan debt, has failed to improve college access for lower-income Americans, and has forced taxpayers to finance the leftist agendas of universities across the country.

We will combat critical race theory and radical gender ideology in education.

We will support the introduction of legislation in Congress to eliminate the application of racist critical race theory both from our public schools and from the training of our military.

We will work to end race-based admissions in our colleges and universities by drafting and introducing legislation to bar federal funding, grants, and student loans to any educational institution that discriminates on the basis of race.

We will work to block any regulations that would eviscerate due process protections for those who are wrongly accused of sexual harassment in our educational institutions.

We will work to block any regulations that would replace the traditional biological understanding of male/female sex discrimination in education with one based on subjective transgender ideology—and that includes working to keep biological men out of women’s sports.

We will push for congressional hearings to expose the Biden Administration’s reliance on radical groups to facilitate the CRT and gender ideology agendas in our schools.

We will work on critical reforms at the state level and with local school board members.

We will work with state-based policy organizations and state legislatures to prohibit the application of the racist ideas of critical race theory, enact school choice legislation, protect and expand education savings accounts, and enact comprehensive parental rights bills. We will push to provide academic transparency to parents through state legislation that would require schools to report online the books, teacher preparation and development sessions, and other instructional materials they use in the classroom.

We also will work to eliminate teacher certification requirements in the states. Since the mid-20th century, left-leaning colleges of education have had a near-monopoly on providing teacher certifications, which means that other highly qualified and experienced individuals who have not specifically attended a college of education are often prevented from teaching. We will work with governors and state policymakers on alternative teacher certification routes or to eliminate teacher certification requirements altogether. This will weaken the grip that colleges of education have on the teaching profession.

We will continue to train hundreds of school board members from around the country each year on their roles and responsibilities and how they can provide a quality education while preventing special interests from indoctrinating our children.

Heritage provides the knowledge resources to equip parents, educators, lawmakers, and activists to reclaim education for our next generation. Select studies from our experts can be found below:

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