Despite calls from the state’s top leaders and grassroots citizens, the Texas Legislature failed to pass any school choice reform during this year. But that isn’t stopping Texas’ U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz from attempting to push reforms in the nation’s capital.
Given that Washington D.C. schools fall under the jurisdiction of Congress, Cruz has reintroduced the Educational Freedom Accounts Act in the United States Senate. If passed, the EFAA would allow K-12 students in the District of Columbia to have additional opportunities to enroll charter schools.
“Washington, D.C. has one of the highest per-pupil spending rates in the nation, but schools continue to underperform and underserve the next generation. This has resulted in a high demand for school choice programs, but that need is not being met,” said Cruz. “Not only will the EFAA help students, it will also help improve schools to ensure that every child has the opportunity to achieve their dreams, regardless of race, class, or zip code.”
Cruz first proposed the legislation in 2016, but was move the legislation through the Senate Finance Committee.
In short, Cruz’s bill would allow students in D.C. who were either enrolled the previous year in a public school, or who are entering pre-kindergarten or kindergarten, to apply to receive need-based grants to attend private charter schools in the D.C area.
While there is currently a system in place allowing for parents to apply for these grants, less than 10% of the families who applied to receive this grant were able to get one last year.
The horrendously notorious public school system in Washington D.C. is the best example of what happens when the federal government attempts to get involved in the public education system, and Cruz’s bill is a step in the right direction to help many kids achieves their dreams through a better education.
Cruz should be applauded not only for his efforts to expand educational opportunities for students in the nation’s capital, but also in Texas as well.