The Choose Act

One of the three tenets of the API’s mission is to promote and defend families as the primary foundation to society. School Choice initiatives that acknowledge and strengthen the role of parents in their innate responsibility to educate and raise their children are a priority for API. 

The ultimate goal of school choice is to give parents agency to educate each of their children as they see fit. Further, the re-introduction and expansion of free-market principles have and will continue to improve the station of education in our state. Where there is competition and innovation, there is success; where there is governmental interference and control, there is stagnation.

API and a coalition of groups worked in support of the CHOOSE Act introduced by Senator Arthur Orr and Rep. Danny Garrett. As passed, the bill created universal education savings accounts (ESA) allowing parents to use approximately $7,000 of their state tax dollars to educate their children the specific way they choose.

Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth and Governor Kay Ivey both declared the passage of the bill to be a top priority. The CHOOSE Act was the first universal school choice bill to pass in 2024 and is a model for other states to follow. 

API believes that universal school choice is paramount to ensuring that every child in Alabama has a chance to flourish. API believes that applying free market principles to public, private, and home education opportunities will open new avenues for success in all areas of education.

The CHOOSE Act is a universal education savings account bill that will empower parents to educate their children according to their values to tailor their children’s education to their exact needs. No families or schools are required to participate but all Alabama schoolchildren would be eligible to apply annually after a 3 year phase-in period. The ESA can be used for public school, private school, online school, or homeschooling. The program is administered by the Department of Revenue.

Under the provisions of the CHOOSE Act, public schools keep federal and local money left from a student who leaves their public school, and ESA funds that are not fully used in one school year can be rolled over into next year. Nothing in the Act changes the current law regarding how non-public education entities (private, church, parochial, religious and home-based schools) operate or are regulated, including accreditation, assessments, and athletics.

API has been a school choice proponent for decades and played an integral part in the research, development, and drafting of the CHOOSE Act. API is proud to have been a leader in making Alabama a state with one of the most comprehensive education freedom laws in the nation.