U.S. Senators Ben Sasse (R-NE) and Tim Scott (R-SC) released the following statement after introducing the Military Education Savings Act of 2018. This legislation creates an opt-in for military families to establish Military Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) to help fund their child’s education and expand access to personalized, high-quality educational experiences.

“Our men and women in uniform know what sacrifice means, and so do their families,” said Sasse. “It’s too easy to forget that these are moms and dads trying to figure out how to best raise their kids. This bill lets parents customize their kids’ education, letting them find the opportunities that fit their family’s needs. All of us should want to make sure that the decision to defend our freedom doesn’t mean kids miss out on the best education options available. These men and women deserve our best and their kids do too.”

“While our service members are putting their lives on the line to protect and defend our freedom, it is absolutely important for us to give them more options and tools so that their children can receive a quality education,” said Scott. “As someone who lived on an Air Force base as a kid, I know firsthand how important it is for parents to have options when it comes to their child’s education. The Military Education Savings Act will ensure our brave men and women in our nation’s Armed Forces have access to the best possible education for their children. I am proud to join my colleague, Senator Ben Sasse, in introducing this important legislation to help military children unleash their greatest potential."

Background:

Over one-third of military parents say that dissatisfaction with their children’s schooling was a significant factor in their decision to remain in or leave the military. Currently, eighty percent of military connected youth are enrolled in local public schools, but fifty percent of military connected youth live in states with no school choice options.

This legislation would amend Title VII of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to create an opt-in for military families to redirect a portion of their per pupil Impact Aid allocations into an education savings account (ESA) to pursue alternative educational opportunities. ESAs are parent-driven accounts that allow families to customize their children’s educational experiences.

Representative Jim Banks (R-IN) has introduced companion legislation in the House.