Sen. Cruz: Nothing Could Have a Greater Impact on Texas Future than Improving the Educational Opportunities for Our Kids
Discusses Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act on San Antonios Trey Ware Show
March 5, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today discussed his Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act (S. 634) on San Antonio’s Trey Ware Show. Last week, he introduced this bill which would significantly expand education opportunities, including apprenticeship and work training opportunities for millions of students, workers, and families in Texas and across the country. Listen to the full interview here.
“Last week, I introduced legislation, did it working hand-in-hand with the administration, with the Department of Education, and it is a federal tax credit for school choice,” Sen. Cruz said to Ware. “It provides five billion dollars a year, 50 billion dollars over 10 years, so that if individuals or corporations give contributions to a scholarship-granting organization, that money is a dollar-for-dollar federal tax credit. […] Each of the states has a choice, number one, whether to opt-in so if a state doesn’t want to participate, they don’t have to. Number two, the states run it, not the feds. The states run it so each state can set up their scholarship-granting organizations however they like, they can set up whatever system they have; it’s simply a federal tax credit to make those dollars available. And there are two tracks: there’s, number one, the K-12 track which would be five billion dollars a year of additional resources flowing for K-12 school choice, number two, there’s a vocational and apprenticeship track for adults that want to learn a trade, that want to get a job, that also is five billion a year.”
Sen. Cruz continued, highlighting the positive investments and opportunities this legislation would provide to students in Texas.
“The impact of those would be enormous for the state of Texas in terms of helping, number one, helping kids get a quality education,” Sen. Cruz said. “I think school choice is the Civil Rights issue of the 21st century; every kid deserves access to a quality education regardless of your race, regardless of your ethnicity, regardless of your wealth, regardless of your zip code, and nothing could have a greater impact on Texas’ future than improving the educational choices and options and prospects for our kids. And on the workforce side, helping adults get the skills they need to provide for their families and so both of those I’m excited about because they’d have a tremendous positive impact on the state of Texas.”
Read the full text of the Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act here. Key provisions of Sen. Cruz’s bill include:
- Optional for States: State participation is optional – an issue important to prevent extending federal control over education.
- State Directed: States maintain the authority to create a program that works for them. States can decide which students are eligible for the scholarship credit, what constitutes eligible educational expenses and eligible educational providers, and more.
- Encourages Workplace Training Education: There is more than one pathway to success, and our rapidly-changing 21st century economy means that workers need new skills to compete. In addition to elementary and secondary education scholarships, this bill allows for scholarships related to career and technical education, apprenticeships, certifications, and other forms of workforce training for postsecondary students.
- Prohibits Federal Control of Education: Clarifies that nothing in this act shall be construed to permit, allow, encourage, or authorize any increased regulation or control over any aspect of a participating educational provider, scholarship granting organization, or workforce training organization. This allows all education providers to be able to participate, without fear of federal control.
- Helps Our Most Vulnerable Students: Many low- and middle-income students cannot afford tuition and educational expenses themselves, or do not have the means to pay for the workforce training needed to secure a stable, high-paying job. This tax credit will provide scholarships for these students, so that they can have the opportunity to receive an effective and successful education that prepares them for the future.