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Press Release

    William J. Bennett on the Low Income School Choice Demonstration Act

    06/12/2001

    Empower America Co-Director William J. Bennett, who served as the Secretary of Education under President Ronald Reagan, today urged the Senate to pass the Low Income School Choice Demonstration Act, introduced by Senator Judd Gregg.

    "Today, Senator Judd Gregg will introduce an amendment to the Senate education bill, entitled 'The Low Income School Choice Demonstration Act.' This amendment would enable ten cities and three states to provide low-income parents with the opportunity to send their children to the school—public or private—of their choice. It would also include a mandatory evaluation of the effects of the choice programs it enacts, so as to give policy-makers needed information about the effectiveness of school choice.

    "The Gregg Amendment represents the last chance to save what was once a great blueprint for improving America’s schools. President Bush's original proposal contained three key components for education reform: accountability, flexibility, and school choice. Each of these has been diluted during the legislative process, but none more so than the school choice provision. Senator Gregg's amendment would be an important step in restoring this essential element of the President’s bold initiative, and would place the country on the right track toward an education system that truly leaves no child behind by allowing students in our nation’s worst schools an opportunity to attend other, better schools.

    "The President has called for more school choice because he knows that it is more than just a political issue: It is a moral and civil-rights issue. I call on all members of the Senate to vote in favor of the Gregg Amendment and help save children from failing schools and lost opportunities."