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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Jeb Bush proposes sweeping education overhaul



Jeb Bush on Monday outlined a plan to overhaul education that seeks to diminish the federal role while providing more incentive for people to save. Coming on Martin Luther King Day, Bush said, "access to a quality education is the great civil rights challenge of our time."

Ideas include:

Create Education Savings Accounts to replace 529 college savings plans. The ESA’s would provide tax-free savings accounts for any level of education. Parents, relatives, and employers could contribute as well as government and charities.

Consolidate $22 billion annual in federal dollars used on more than 40 current programs for low-income students and allow states to deposit $2,500 annual scholarships in an Education Savings Account for child under five.

Give all high school graduates access to a $50,000 line of credit through a Educative Savings Account to pay for college and career training. For every $10,000 spent, students would repay 1 percent of their income for 25 years. “This ensures affordable repayment, removes risk of default and protects students during periods of unemployment, while the ESA structure gives students flexibility and the incentive to be cost-conscious. In addition, low-income students would have access to an improved need-based Pell Grant through their ESA.”

Create state databases so every student can see the average unemployment rate, earnings, graduation rates and debt repayment rate of programs they are considering.

Give schools whose teachers achieve good results for low-income students more money, “incentivizing and rewarding success. And, we will foster excellent teaching by helping states reward the best educators, recruit new talent and improve professional development.”

[Last modified: Monday, January 18, 2016 12:35pm]


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