Ted Cruz on Education

Republican Texas Senator


School choice is the civil-rights issue of the 21st Century

Sens. Cruz, Scott, Rep. Moolenaar Lead National School Choice Week Resolution:

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) joined the co-chairs of the Congressional School Choice Caucus, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Rep. John Moolenaar (R-Mich.), in introducing a resolution designating January 21st-January 27th, 2024, as National School Choice Week.

Upon joining the resolution, Sen. Cruz said, "For over a decade, I have been the leading advocate for school choice in the U.S. Senate because I firmly believe that school choice is the civil-rights issue of the 21st Century. Every single child deserves access to an exceptional education regardless of their zip code, race, ethnicity, or socio-economic status. I will continue to stand up for our students in Texas and across the country because building a stronger America starts in our K-12 classrooms."

Source: Senate press release on 2024 Texas Senate race , Jan 25, 2024

In just world, teacher's unions would support school choice

Yet today's Democratic Party is drastically opposed to school choice. The reasons are simple: teachers' unions massively fund the Democratic Party and provide many of its hardest working foot soldiers. As a result, very few Democratic politicians are willing to give up the millions of dollars that flow from union support.

In a choice world, teachers unions would enthusiastically support school choice. After all, the mass majority of teachers go into education because they want to help children, and teachers see first-hand the maddening bureaucracy, red tape and barriers to qualify teaching that today's system often creates. But the union bosses who lead the teachers' unions have decided that school choice is an existential threat to their power, and so they demand partisan fealty beyond all else.

Source: One Vote Away, by Ted Cruz, p.29 , Sep 20, 2020

Private school vouchers is civil rights issue of our time

Q: Help parents send their children to private schools with public money?

Ted Cruz (R): Yes. Called "civil rights issue of our time." Introduced bill to allow tax deduction for costs of private & religious schools.

Beto O'Rourke (D): No. It funnels public school $ into private schools. "Ted Cruz's private school give-away will cost taxpayers $500 million to subsidize wealthy."

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Texas Senate race , Oct 9, 2018

Race-to-the-Top is blackmail against the states

Common Core is a disaster. And if I am elected president, in the first days, I will direct the Department of Education that Common Core ends that day.

The Obama administration has abused executive power in forcing common core on the states. It has used race-to-the-top funds to effectively blackmail and force the states to adopt Common Core. Now, the one silver lining of Obama abusing executive power is that everything done with executive power can be undone with executive power, and I intend to do that.

Beyond that, I intend to work to abolish the federal Department of Education and send education back to the states and back to the local governments.

And let me say finally, the most important reform we can do in education after getting the federal government out of it, is expand school choice; expand charter schools and home schools and private schools and vouchers, and scholarships. And give every child in need an opportunity to access to a quality education.

Source: 2016 GOP primary debate in Miami , Mar 10, 2016

Abolish the U.S. Department of Education

Source: Fordham Institute EduWatch 2016 by Brandon White , Apr 29, 2015

The rich already have school choice; give it to the poor

Source: Fordham Institute EduWatch 2016 by Brandon White , Apr 29, 2015

Supports ending racial preferences for college admissions

Source: Fordham Institute EduWatch 2016 by Brandon White , Apr 29, 2015

Right to education: public, private, charter, or homeschool

Just about every chance he gets, Cruz says he believes school choice is the civil rights issue of the 21st century. On the Common Core state standards, Cruz says, "We need to repeal Common Core. We need to get the federal government out of the business of dictating educational standards. Education is far too important for it to be governed by unelected bureaucrats in Washington. It should be at the state level or even better at the local level."

At Liberty University in March 2015, Cruz said, "Imagine embracing school choice as the civil rights issue of the next generation. That every single child, regardless of race, regardless of ethnicity, regardless of wealth or zip code, every child in America has a right to a quality education. And that's true from all of the above, whether it is public schools or charter schools or private schools or Christian schools or parochial schools or home schooled. Every child."

Source: Forbes Magazine "2016 Candidates Want You to Know" series , Mar 24, 2015

We should thank parents who homeschool

At the Homeschool Iowa conference in March 2014, Cruz said, "We love our children and we take seriously the biblical admonition to raise them up to walk in a godly manner. Thank you for the financial commitment you give by not being in the paid workplace, the commitment of time, the commitment of energy, the commitment of passion for your kids. I'd like to speak on behalf of your children to say thank you. What you are doing is making a difference and it's a difference that will be felt for generations to come. Their children and their children's children will thank you for the impact you are having on your kids preparing them to go forward."

In 2015, Cruz said, "Imagine that every single child in America has a right to a quality education, whether it is public schools or charter schools or private schools or Christian schools or parochial schools or home schooled. Every child."

Source: Forbes Magazine "2016 Candidates Want You to Know" series , Mar 24, 2015

Local control of education instead of Common Core

In stump speeches, Cruz stresses that he wants to repeal or roll back the Common Core education standards placed on states from the federal government. He is a co-sponsor of Local Control of Education Act, which allows states to opt out without affecting their ability to receive federal grant money.
Source: PBS News Hour "2016 Candidate Stands" series , Mar 23, 2015

School choice is a deep passion of mine

In 2003, Cruz said, "Solicitor General, by and large, is not a policy-making position," adding that [sometimes he was] charged with defending things he wasn't particularly enthusiastic about, such as Texas' school finance system. "As a policy matter, school choice is a deep passion of mine. But it was not my role as solicitor general to advocate for school choice, nor was it the role of the Texas Supreme Court to mandate that Texas provide school choice; that is properly the role of the Legislature."
Source: Cruzing to the White House, by Mario Broes, p. 43-4 , Mar 7, 2014

Facilitate school choice for poor Americans

An aide to Cruz said reforms to give low-income students a greater variety of educational options has "been one of his strong policy preferences since he first entered the public arena, and it's something he'll continue to talk about."
Source: The Hill weblog 2014 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jan 28, 2014

Education decisions best made at local level

The Senate Conservatives Fund has developed a questionnaire that we require candidates to complete before we consider an endorsement. A candidate's answers to these questions will reveal whether they consistently apply conservative principles to their positions on important issues.
Source: 2012 endorsee questionnaire from Senate Conservatives Fund , Jun 6, 2012

Denounce the Common Core State Standards.

Cruz co-sponsored Resolution against Common Core

Congressional summary:: Strongly denouncing the President`s coercion of States into adopting the Common Core State Standards by conferring preferences in Federal grants:

    Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that--
  1. States and local educational agencies should maintain the right and responsibility of determining educational curricula;
  2. the Federal Government should not incentivize the adoption of common education standards; and
  3. no application process for any Federal grant funds should provide any preference for the adoption of the Common Core State Standards.

    Opponent`s argument against (CoreStandards.org): The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. 45 states have adopted the Common Core State Standards [not adopted in TX, NE, AK, MN, and VA]. The nation`s governors and education commissioners, through their representative organizations the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) led the development of the Common Core State Standards and continue to lead the initiative. Teachers, parents, school administrators and experts from across the country together with state leaders provided input into the development of the standards.

    Source: HRes.476 & SRes.345 14-SR345 on Feb 6, 2014

    Block funding for Common Core; it's too heavy-handed.

    Cruz signed Letter from 11 Senators

    Letter to the Senate Subcommittee on Labor Health and Human Services, and Education: `Eleven U.S. senators signed a letter asking Senate appropriators to block the use of funding to the Education Department to promote the Common Core education standards. The senators wrote a letter asking for appropriations legislative language `to restore state decision-making and accountability with respect to state academic content standards.` Text of the letter:`

    While the Common Core State Standards Initiative was initially billed as a voluntary effort between states, federal incentives have clouded the picture. The selection criteria designed by the U.S. Department of Education for the Race to the Top (RTTT) Program provided that for a state to have a reasonable chance to compete for funding, it must adopt a `common set of K-12 standards` matching the description of the Common Core.

    Source: Letter on Sen. Grassley's Senate website 15_Lt_Edu on Apr 4, 2014

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