Texas Insider Report: WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) released the following statement after Senate Republican leadership unveiled a targeted legislative package, which includes several proposals championed by Sen. Cruz to expand school choice, to help Americans who are hurting as a result of the coronavirus pandemic:
“Among the most significant questions facing parents during the coronavirus pandemic, few have been more daunting than how to ensure our children can continue learning and growing, especially as many schools across the country remain closed. Now more than ever, families from all walks of life are seeing the need for real school choice. If passed, this legislation will provide all families, of the over 50 million schoolchildren across America, with the flexibility and support they need to prevent their children from falling behind during these uncertain times.
“I’m also pleased to see that leadership heeded my repeated call to limit our spending and debt by including in this package an estimated $350 billion in additional offsets. After Congress passed more than $3 trillion in emergency relief, I’ve urged my colleagues over the last several months to focus on the long-term recovery of our nation, not another massive, short-term spending measure, as Democrats have repeatedly proposed, that simply shovels cash out the door while keeping our economy shut down.
“While we still have significantly more work to do to grow our economy, help Americans safely return to work, and ensure kids can get back into the classroom safely, when it comes to expanding school choice, this legislation takes several critically important steps in the right direction."
Over the last eight years, Sen. Cruz has been a leading advocate for school choice in the Senate and has said school choice is the civil rights issue of the 21st century. Throughout the pandemic, he has urged his colleagues to focus on solutions that will help get Americans safely back to work and our kids safely back into the classroom. The following priorities championed by Sen. Cruz have been included in the Senate Republican leadership bill:
Sen. Cruz’s proposal to establish education tax credits. Specifically, the proposal included in the Senate leadership bill, which is based on legislation Sen. Cruz introduced in February 2019, establishes a federal education tax credit for two years to encourage individuals and businesses to donate to nonprofit scholarship funds, which would expand elementary, secondary, and vocational education opportunities for students.
Sen. Cruz’s proposal to expand 529 savings accounts. Specifically, the proposal included in the Senate leadership bill, which is based on legislation Sen. Cruz introduced in January 2019, would expand 529 savings accounts for two years to help parents afford educational expenses such as homeschooling, tutoring, and educational therapies for students with disabilities.
Sens. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Cruz’s proposal to authorize one-time emergency appropriations funding for scholarship-granting organizations (SGOs) in each state for the remainder of the year. Specifically, the proposal included in the Senate leadership bill, which is based on legislation Sens. Scott and Cruz introduced in July, would provide families additional support for qualified educational expenses (as determined by the state), such as tuition and school expenses.