WASHINGTON—Presumptive GOP nominee Gov. Mitt Romney called today for making federal funding for special education and disadvantaged students portable—meaning the money would follow students to any school their parents choose, including a private school.
Under his proposal, parents could also choose to use the funds under Title I and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act at charter schools, for online courses, or for tutoring. Title I is funded at $14.5 billion this year, and IDEA is funded at $11.6 billion, and any proposal to radically shift the use of that money would be almost certain to face a host of administrative, budgetary, and political hurdles from the Congress and statehouses on down.
Romney, who unveiled his education agenda at the Latino Coalition’s Annual Economic Summit in Washington Wednesday, is also calling for an expansion of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program, which President Barack Obama has sought to eliminate. He would also make it easier for high-quality charter schools to expand, a position that the Obama administration has also embraced.