Three Ways Betsy DeVos Could Push School Choice Without Congress

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ school choice agenda has run into roadblocks on Capitol Hill. But, from her perch at the department, she has other levers to get states and districts to offer kids more schooling options, without help from anyone in Congress.

What are they? Here’s a quick breakdown:

Make it a priority for federal grants.

Okay, so far, Congress hasn’t seemed to wild about DeVos’ idea of a new grant program just for vouchers, or allowing Title I money to follow kids to the school of their choice. In fact, lawmakers have told her those things are a no-go for now. But the Education Department doles out more than $1 billion in federal grants every year. And if they want to, federal officials can give applicants a leg-up if they pitch something choice related, or maybe even if they are a charter school, or part of a district that’s home to a voucher program. That wouldn’t mean all of the money would go to choice-related activities, but it might steer a good chunk more in that direction…

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