Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has introduced the “Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act, “ legislation that would help equip American workers and families with the skills they need to thrive in a 21st century economy. 

Americans for Tax Reform urges all members of Congress to support this legislation. 

President Donald Trump has made expanding access to education a priority of his administration. The Cruz bill builds on this success by providing a federal tax credit to individuals that donate to nonprofit scholarship funds, which will generate new education opportunities for students of all ages and backgrounds. These new opportunities would allow men and women to seek the technical training and apprenticeships necessary to thrive in the skilled labor force.

Similar legislation has been introduced in the House by Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.), which allows for $5 billion a year in tax credits as opposed to the $10 billion provided for in the Cruz version. The Cruz legislation is cosponsored by Sens. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Pat Toomey (R-Penn.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), and Rick Scott (R-Fla.). 

18 states have already implemented similar tax credit programs to expand vocational opportunities for their residents. Cruz has worked with President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos on how to best implement a federal version of this initiative. 

Key provisions of the Cruz bill include: 

  • States have the flexibility to create the programs that best work for them. States decide eligibility criteria for students, what constitutes education expenses, and more. 
  • Encourages workplace training education. In addition to the new federal tax credit, the Cruz bill will encourage scholarships for career and technical education, apprenticeships, certifications, and other forms of workforce training.
  • Prohibits federal control of education, and makes state participation optional. This bill completely closes the door on more federal control over state and local education priorities. 
  • Helps the most vulnerable students. The tax credit will give students in need vital scholarships and important opportunities to prepare them for gainful employment in the future. 

The “Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act” builds on the Trump administration’s success in expanding education opportunities for all Americans. If implemented, this bill would equip students of all backgrounds with the tools they need to succeed in a 21st century economy. 

ATR supports this legislation and urges its swift passage.