June 26, 1992 PRESIDENT BUSH'S GI BILL FOR CHILDREN +quot;Forty-eight years ago, the origi
June 26, 1992
PRESIDENT BUSH'S GI BILL FOR CHILDREN
"Forty-eight years ago, the original GI Bill opened educational
doors for our war vets by giving them dollars to spend at any
school they choose -- public, private or religious. And now it's
time that we give families the same consumer power for choice in
-- President George Bush
June 23, 1992
Summary: Helping Parents Choose Schools and Hold Them Accountable
o President Bush has conceived a new way to give parents the
power to send their children to the school of their choice.
His "G.I. Bill for Children" will put $1,000 directly into
parents' hands, in the form of a scholarship, to defray the
costs of public, private, or religious schools.
o The President's proposal will create new opportunities for
parents to hold schools accountable for results. Because
parents will now have the choice where to send their children
to school, the President's initiative will spur creation of
"break-the-mold" schools that rethink the way students are
o President Bush has set the agenda to revitalize America's
schools, proposing a new education system that will give
parents and teachers new flexibility to improve schools and
respond to students' needs. First, the President forged an
agreement with the Nation's Governors on six National
Education Goals, and then designed a strategy -- AMERICA 2000
-- to achieve the Goals. AMERICA 2000 is giving parents and
teachers the tools to get the job done. Now the President's
"G.I. Bill for Children" will make choice real for millions of
parents by removing as a barrier to private or religious
school education the cost of that education.
o President Bush has challenged local communities, parents, and
teachers to strive for excellence by setting standards and
testing for results. AMERICA 2000 ideas like these are now
being put to work in over 1,100 communities in 43 states.
President Bush's GI Bill: Opening New Opportunities for Children
o Forty-eight years ago President Roosevelt signed the original
GI Bill for Veterans. Through this historic legislation, the
federal government gave veterans scholarships to use at any
college of their choice. The resulting consumer power and
competition for students created the best system of higher
education in the world.
o Just as the World War II GI Bill made colleges compete for the
best students and improve their quality of instruction, so
too, the President's "GI Bill for Children" will require
elementary and secondary schools compete in order to excel.
The same invigorating competition that makes American
businesses and universities first in the world will revitalize
o The President's "GI Bill for Children" will give the children
of working Americans new opportunities to choose schools that
will best serve their children, just as the GI Bill after
World War II gave veterans a chance to attend the college of
their choice -- public, private, or religious.
Putting Money Directly into Parents' Hands
o The President's $1,000 scholarships will go directly to
families -- not to schools or state education bureaucracies.
-- The $1,000 scholarships will go to families to help pay
the educational expenses (tuition, fees, etc.) at the
school the families choose for their child.
-- Up to $500 of the $1,000 scholarship can be spent for
additional instruction from other academic programs, such
as an after-school program at another school or a program
on weekends and during school vacations.
o The President seeks $500 million in new federal dollars in
fiscal year 1993 to help states and communities award $1,000
scholarships. Those public schools that participate will keep
at least $500 for each child they enroll, providing new
incentives and funds to public schools to train teachers and
otherwise improve the quality of education.
o The $500 million in this program is enough money to fund
scholarships for all middle- and low-income children in 50
cities the size of Trenton, New Jersey -- or 25 cities the
size of San Jose, California.
What the "GI Bill for Children" Provides
The President's proposed "Federal Grants for State and Local 'GI
Bills' for Children" includes the following elements:
o Authorized Program
-- The Department of Education would make competitive four-
year grants to states and localities for scholarships to
children from middle- and low-income families.
-- Scholarships would be in the amount of $1,000, plus any
additional support available from non-Federal sources.
-- Families would use these scholarships to send their
children to any lawfully operating school -- public,
private, or religious.
-- Families could also use up to $500 of the Federal
assistance to obtain supplementary academic services for
o Eligibility Any state or locality can apply for enough
federal funds to give each child of a middle-or low-income
family a $1,000 annual scholarship. In order to qualify, the
governmental unit would have to:
-- Take significant steps to provide a choice of schools to
families with school children in the area;
-- Permit families to spend the $1,000 federal scholarships
at a wide variety of public and private schools;
-- Allow all lawfully operating schools in the area --
public, private, and religious -- to participate if they
o Project Selection The Secretary of Education would select
grantees on the basis of:
-- The number and variety of choices made available to
families of eligible children;
-- The extent to which the applicant has provided
educational choices to all children, including children
who are not eligible for scholarships;
-- The proportion of children who will participate who are
from low-income families; and
-- The applicant's financial support (including private
support) for the project.
o Eligible Students
-- The maximum family income for eligible children would be
determined by the grantee, but it could not exceed the
higher of state or national median income, adjusted for
o Student Selection
-- All eligible children in the project area would receive
scholarships, so long as sufficient funds are available.
If all eligible children cannot participate, the grantee
would provide scholarships to those with the lowest
-- Students would continue to receive scholarships over the
four-year life of a project unless they leave school,
move out of the area, or no longer meet the income
o Anti-discrimination provisions
-- The proposed legislation provides aid to families, not
institutions. As a condition of participating in this
program, a school must comply with the federal anti-
discrimination provisions of: Section 601 of the Title VI
of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (race), section 901 of
title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (gender),
and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
o Supplementary academic services
-- Up to $500 of the scholarships may be used for other
academic programs for children before and after school,
on weekends or during school vacations.
o Amount of Grant
-- The Secretary would determine the amount of each grant on
the basis of the availability of funds, the number and
quality of applications, and other appropriate
o National Evaluation
-- The Department of Education would conduct a comprehensive
evaluation of these demonstration projects. The
evaluation would assess the impact of the program in such
areas as educational outcomes and parents' involvement in
and satisfaction with their children's education.
-- $500 million is authorized in FY93, sufficient to fund
scholarships for 500,000 students. The proposed
legislation authorizes such sums as may be necessary
through FY 2000.
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank