Sen. Cruz: A Quality Education is the Gateway to the American Dream
Speaks at rally to kick off National School Choice Week
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today delivered remarks at a rally to celebrate the annual kick off of National School Choice Week, which begins on Sunday. There, Sen. Cruz discussed the importance of school choice, calling it ‘the civil rights issue of the 21st century.’
Watch Sen. Cruz’s full remarks here.
“We’re here this morning to celebrate,” Sen. Cruz said. ‘We’re here this morning to celebrate parents, teachers, and activists. To celebrate the men and women in this room who are committed to seeing school choice as a reality across this country. This week, we celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King Day. It was 55 years ago this year that Dr. King stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and looked out at an incredible crowd of men and women gathered to change the world. They had a vision, not a vision for what they saw that day. But they had a vision for the future - a vision for where this country could go.”
Sen. Cruz continued, “That vision, that dream is every bit as powerful today as it was 55 years ago. School choice, the reason we’re gathered here today, is the civil rights issue of the 21st century. If you want people to have a chance, to have hope, to have an opportunity to achieve the American Dream, then every one of us knows that education is the gateway. That if kids have the chance to get a quality education, that opens doors and opportunities for you to get a good job, to provide for your family, and to achieve your dreams.”
In December, Sen. Cruz’s Student Opportunity Amendment was signed into law as a part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The amendment expands 529 College Savings plans to include K-12 elementary and secondary school tuition for public, private, and religious schools.
In his fight to provide quality education, Sen. Cruz has long led efforts to increase the availability of school choice programs:
- In May of 2013, 2015 and April of 2016, Sen. Cruz cosponsored a resolution creating “National Charter Schools Week,” which congratulates charter schools, students, families, teachers, and administrators.
- In January of 2014, 2015, and 2017, Sen. Cruz cosponsored Sen. Tim Scott’s (R- S.C.) School CHOICE Act, which expanded D.C. students’ opportunities to enroll in school choice programs.
- In May of 2014, Sen. Cruz cosponsored the Expanding Opportunity Through Quality Charter Schools Act, which improved and expanded Charter School education.
- In January of 2015, Sen. Cruz joined as a lead cosponsor of the Messer-Lee-Cruz bill. The Enhancing Educational Opportunities Act made quality K-12 education more affordable, particularly for low-income families.
- In January of 2015 and 2016, Sen. Cruz cosponsored Sen. Tim Scott’s (R-S.C.) resolution designating a “National School Choice Week.”
- In January of 2015, Sen. Cruz cosponsored Local Control of Education Act, which limited the government’s direct and indirect mandates and control of local educational agencies.
- In January of 2015, Sen. Cruz cosponsored Local Leadership in Education Act, which amended the General Educational Provisions Act and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act as well as limited the government’s control of local educational agencies.
- In November of 2015 and 2017, Sen. Cruz cosponsored a bill to amend the Head Start Act to authorize block grants to states for pre-kindergarten education.
- In March of 2015, Sen. Cruz cosponsored Higher Education Reform Opportunity Act of 2015, which amended education eligibility requirements.
- In January of 2016, and November of 2017, Sen. Cruz introduced the Educational Freedom Accounts Act, which created educational choice program in D.C. for every public school student.
- In January of 2017, Sen. Cruz cosponsored a bill to allow a state to submit a declaration of intent to the Secretary of Education to combine certain funds to improve the academic achievement of students.
- In December of 2017, Sen. Cruz introduced the Student Opportunity Amendment to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was signed into law. The amendment expands 529 College Savings Plans to include K-12 elementary and secondary school tuition for public, private, and religious schools.