Kraft reintroduces school choice bill; says parents know best where their children should be schooled

A measure that would give parents the ability to choose the learning environment that best meets their children's needs was introduced Friday in the state House of Representatives by Rep. Vicki Kraft, R-Vancouver.

House Bill 1215 would establish the K-12 Education Scholarship Program in Washington state, which would award up to $7,000 per student each school year to be used for costs related to private school or homeschool instruction.

“We've seen how students have been affected this past year from a lack of education choices. Students should be allowed to be in a learning environment that works for them. This year alone, more than 32,000 Washington families have pulled out of the public-school system as they find that traditional zip-code assigned schools are simply not working for their children,” said Kraft.

The bill is similar to House Bill 2933 Kraft introduced last year that proposed the Education Choice Scholarship Program.

“Many parents are frustrated with the teachings of public schools and curricula, such as the new sex education mandate and new vaccination requirements, that do not reflect their values,” Kraft added. “This bill will allow parents to be able to provide the best learning environment for their child, no matter what the circumstance.

The Vancouver Republican noted the bill would provide more flexibility and improve all options of education.

“If the public education system is a good option for kids, it seems logical that adding other choices should prove the merits of that option and create healthy competition. This has the possibility of improving education in every venue, whether it is public, private or home school,” said Kraft. “We have great teachers and educators in all of those areas. This provides the opportunity for educators in all sectors to come together and begin discussing best practices. It's a win-win for students and parents.”

House Bill 1215 has been referred to the House Education Committee.


Washington State House Republican Communications