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Sen. Cruz, Colleagues Introduce Student Empowerment Act to Expand School Choice for All Americans

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), along with Sens. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), and James Lankford (R-Okla.), this week introduced the Student Empowerment Act to expand 529 College Savings Plans to include K-12 elementary and secondary school expenses for public, private, and religious schools, including homeschool students. U.S. Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.) sponsored the companion bill in the House of Representatives. Sen. Cruz previously introduced this bill in 2018 and 2019.

Upon introduction, Sen. Cruz said:

“This National School Choice Week, I am proud to reintroduce this legislation to champion school choice by expanding access to 529 savings accounts. Far too many students have had to navigate the enormous challenges of distance learning during the Covid-19 pandemic and sadly, many students are being left behind. By empowering our students and families with educational freedom, we can usher in a new era of opportunity in education and a brighter future for our children.”

Rep. Jason Smith added:

“Empowering students and working families is vital to the growth and success of our Country. The Student Empowerment Act will help working families afford everyday K-12 education expenses and plan for their children’s future. Parents know better than Washington bureaucrats about what’s right for their children, and this legislation will allow families to save for the unexpected expenses that come with raising a family. I thank Senator Cruz for partnering with me on this important issue.” 


The Student Empowerment Act:

  • Allows all students, including public, private, and religious school students, to use 529 savings accounts to cover eligible educational expenses, such as tutoring, standardized testing fees, and educational therapies for students with disabilities, among other educational expenses.
  • Reincorporates homeschool students as equally eligible to use a 529 savings account for educational expenses.
  • Ensures all families are able to use these tax-advantaged accounts to pay for their child’s elementary and secondary education.