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Bush unveils education plan, calls issue ‘civil rights challenge’

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Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush unveiled a wide-ranging education plan Monday aimed at expanding opportunity while reducing debt for American students.

“As the nation honors Dr. Martin Luther King and his legacy today, I firmly believe that ensuring every individual has access to a quality education is the great civil rights challenge of our time,” Bush wrote in a Medium post. 
{mosads}Bush’s proposal, which he says would constitute a “complete overhaul” of the education system and is budget neutral, includes expanding school choice. 
He also wants to turn government-backed college savings accounts into “education savings accounts” so they can be used for pre-kindergarten through high school, too. As part of his plan, states would put $2,500 annually into the account of every low-income child under the age of 5. 
Bush added that while “every individual in this country has the right to rise,” that the “American Dream  —  the idea that anything is possible through hard work  —  is threatened by an education system failing to prepare the next generation of children for success.”
As part of his new savings accounts, college students would also get a $50,000 line of credit through the account to help pay for college or career training. For every $10,000 they use, they would be expected to repay the money using 1 percent of their income for 25 years. 
Bush argued that the new system would give students “flexibility” while also giving them a reason to be aware of college spending. 
“This ensures affordable repayment, removes risk of default and protects students during periods of unemployment,” he added. 
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), who chairs the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, called Bush’s proposal to help students pay for college “innovative.”

“Jeb Bush for twenty years has led conservative thinking on  education policy,” he added. “And no governor has done more to put into action conservative principles such as giving parents more choices of schools for their children.”

Bush would also allow current borrowers to repay based on their income and allow private student debt to be discharged in bankruptcy. 
His plan isn’t the first time he’s honed in on education policy.
Bush, and his campaign, have touted his role as Florida’s governor where he made education his signature policy issue, including backing standardized testing and expanding charter schools. He also remained involved in the issue after he left Florida’s top office through a foundation he launched in 2008 that focused on school reform. 
Tags Education policy Jeb Bush

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