Senator Craig Brandt Introduces Educational Freedom Account Act
Senate Bill 210 would allow parents to choose the best education for their children
SANTA FE – Senate Republican Whip, Senator Craig Brandt (District 40-Sandoval), today introduced legislation to allow New Mexico parents to choose the best available education for their children. Senate Bill 210, the Educational Freedom Account (“EFA”) Act, would create EFA accounts, allowing parents to pay for private school and other eligible education expenses. The accounts would be credited monthly with funding “equal to the average amount spent by school districts and charter schools on public school students in the same grade, weighted by special education and at-risk program units.”
“The Governor’s education ‘moonshot’ came up short and the constant school closures have led to record learning loss, “ said Senator Brandt. “This is real change that gives parents a say in how their education dollars are spent.”
Support for educational choice rose significantly during the pandemic amidst widespread school closures. A June 2021 poll from RealClear Opinion Research revealed that 74 percent of registered voters support school choice, including 83 percent of Republicans, 69 percent of Independents, and 70 percent of Democrats. The same poll found that 66 percent believe that some or all of the federal COVID funding for K-12 education should be directed by parents.
“For every New Mexico parent frustrated with the bleak outlook of education in New Mexico, this is a transformational shift to broaden your children’s opportunities for success," said Senator Brandt. “I firmly believe that the best choice for our children’s future is the one made by parents—not the state. No parent should be forced to reenroll their child in a failing school, and no student should be doomed to fail on the basis of their zip code.”