One of the most consequential Trump-administration reforms is also one of the most recent: the expansion of school choice through a change to 529 college savings accounts. Signed into law by the president in December 2017, the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act allows savers in 529 plans to withdraw up to $10,000 per year free of federal (and in some cases state) taxes for tuition expenses at an elementary or secondary private school. By equalizing the tax treatment of K–12 and higher-education savings, this new law advances school choice without increasing direct federal intervention in education.

Lindsey M. Burke’s article is part of a forum on Donald Trump and the nation’s schools. For an alternate take, please see, “Harmful Policies, Values, and Rhetoric,” by Shavar Jeffries.

—Education Next

Last updated April 6, 2018