As the Affordable Care Act brought millions into health care insurance, possibly another move forward could be made in education by enacting an Affordable School Act.

This state-by-state enactment (not mandatory) run by state exchanges could offer enrollment to religious or private accredited schools and an opportunity for subsidized or free attendance based on a similar schedule as the ACA poverty level. The federal benefit would cost states nothing for the first three years with the government reducing such coverage to 90 percent thereafter.

This doesn’t abolish public schooling but is an incentive for them to rise to what works rather than staying in the mire. Religious or private schools can offer education opportunities no longer attainable at the public level. They also wouldn’t be encumbered by the entrenchment of PERS or the public education bureaucracy that is no longer tenable.

The Affordable School Act would reduce classroom crowding, enhance opportunities in curriculum and reduce the school financing at the state level, thus saving taxpayers and the state finances.  

Gery Bargen
Portland