PRESS RELEASE: Heartland Institute, National Tax Limitation Committee Urge Trump, Lawmakers to Expand Education Choice

Published January 13, 2017

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL (January 12, 2017) – The Heartland Institute today released a new paper in a multi-part series titled Roadmap for the 21st Century, researched and written by Heartland Institute Senior Fellow Peter Ferrara, National Tax Limitation Committee President Lewis Uhler, and other members of several “working groups” who contributed over the past several months to the Roadmap Project. The timely series provides the incoming Trump administration, the 115th Congress, and every state legislator free-market reform solutions that will promote prosperity in America.

All of the papers, including the first six in the series – Introduction, Budget & Tax Reform, Health Care Reform, Monetary Policy, Energy Deregulation, and Welfare Reform– can be viewed at Heartland’s Roadmap for the 21st Century page.

The latest paper, on Education Choice, describes how choice and competition improve the achievement of students who take advantage of choice opportunities – as well as those who remain in their assigned public schools.

The authors also document how education choice would improve economic prosperity for the nation as a whole and for individual states. They write:

“If all American students and their parents were free to choose the school they believed would work best for them, [educational achievement gaps] could be closed. Nationwide, that would mean an increase in U.S. GDP of up to 17% to 30%, or $3.1 trillion to $5.2 trillion over 25 years, given the current level of U.S. GDP.”

The Education Choice Roadmap paper offers a table showing state-by-state improvements in state GDP if education achievement gaps were closed.

The following quotes may be used for attribution. To interview Ferrara, Uhler, or Heartland Institute President Joseph Bast, please contact Director of Communications Jim Lakely at [email protected] and 312/377-4000 or (cell) 312/731-9364.

Heartland Institute President Joseph Bast:

“This new chapter of Roadmap for the 21st Century addresses a critical issue – the education of the next generation – and a major failure of the national government for the past four decades. Ever since President Jimmy Carter created the U.S. Department of Education as a campaign payback to teachers unions in 1979, the national government has usurped state authority, undermined parental responsibility, and squandered billions of taxpayer dollars. The Trump administration has the historic opportunity, and duty, to dramatically reduce the size and influence of that department and encourage and reward states that empower parents through education choice. I hope incoming secretary Betsy DeVos reads this paper and is moved to act swiftly and decisively to make American education great again.”

Heartland Institute Senior Fellow Peter Ferrara:

“In an environment of broad education choice, students and their parents would become empowered consumers. Schools would compete for them, finding ways to innovate and specialize. Teachers would enjoy higher pay, better working conditions, new opportunities to exercise their professional judgment, and new avenues for entrepreneurship.

“The improved performance of the country’s education system would result in increased economic growth. Residential and commercial properties would become more valuable. Workers would see higher wages. Crime would fall, governments would spend – and tax – less.

“In other words, education would become a key positive factor in launching a new wave of prosperity in the United States that would benefit all Americans.”

Peter Ferrara is senior fellow for entitlement and budget policy at The Heartland Institute and a senior fellow at the Social Security Institute. He served in the White House Office of Policy Development under President Ronald Reagan and as associate deputy attorney general of the United States under President George H.W. Bush. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. Ferrara is author of several books, including The Obamacare Disaster, from The Heartland Institute, President Obama’s Tax Piracy, and America’s Ticking Bankruptcy Bomb: How the Looming Debt Crisis Threatens the American Dream – and How We Can Turn the Tide Before It’s Too Late. Ferrara’s latest book (Heartland Institute, 2015) is Power to the People: The New Road to Freedom and Prosperity for the Poor, Seniors, and Those Most in Need of the World’s Best Health Care.

Lewis K. “Lew” Uhler is founder and president of the National Tax Limitation Committee, one of the nation’s leading grassroots taxpayer advocates. With offices in the Sacramento area and Washington, DC, NTLC works with the White House, members of Congress, legislators in states across the nation, and grassroots organizations to limit state and federal spending through legal restrictions and constitutional change. Uhler has been at the forefront of the national movements for a tax limitation/balanced budget amendment to the United States Constitution and for term limits. He has written numerous articles and opinion pieces on taxes and spending. In 2010, Uhler co-authored with Erick Erickson the book Red State Uprising: How to Take Back America. Uhler also wrote the book Setting Limits: Constitutional Control of Government, with a foreword by Milton Friedman, published in 1989. Uhler speaks internationally on fiscal issues and has appeared on numerous national, regional, and local television and radio programs and has been widely quoted in the print media.

The Heartland Institute is a 33-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our website or call 312/377-4000.

The National Tax Limitation Committee (NTLC) was organized in 1975. Its mission is to provide national leadership to achieve the optimal size and functions of government and promote candidates and initiatives that support these goals. For more information, visit our website.

All papers in the Roadmap for the 21st Century can be viewed at this Heartland Institute web page. Subsequent parts will be released in January and February.