During School Choice Week, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), today introduced two leading education bills to promote choice for parents and educational opportunity for students, The Student Empowerment Act and The Education Freedom Scholarships & Opportunity Act.
Sen. Cruz said:
“School choice is the civil-rights issue of the 21st Century, and every single child deserves access to an excellent education regardless of their race, ethnicity, wealth, or zip code.
“For over a decade, I’ve been the leading advocate of school choice in the Senate, and I’m proud to have authored the most far reaching federal school choice legislation ever passed by expanding 529 savings accounts to cover K-12 education for every child in America.
“Today, I’m once again introducing legislation that would dramatically expand education freedom by creating $100 billion in federal tax credits for contributions to nonprofit scholarship funds. If passed, it would be the most consequential federal education legislation since the GI Bill.
“Our children are worth fighting for, and I’m committed to continue leading the fight for educational choice for each and every child in Texas and across the nation.”
Senator Cruz previously introduced The Student Empowerment Act and The Education Freedom Scholarships & Opportunity Act in the 117th Congress.
- 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.
- Allows homeschool students 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.
Sen. Cruz was joined by the following Senators as cosponsors of the Student Empowerment Act:
Mike Lee (R-Utah), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), and James Lankford (R-Okla.).
- Encourages States to Opt In: Opting in to the freedom scholarship approach to education will reduce federal control over education and return the power to government more accountable to parents.
- Is 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.
Sen. Cruz was joined by the following Senators as cosponsors of the Education Freedom Scholarships & Opportunity Act:
Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.) and James Lankford (R-Okla.).