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The Houston Chronicle reports that Trump will promote Ted Cruz’s school voucher plan, which aligns nicely with the DeVos “Education Freedom” vouchers.
Texas does not have vouchers, thanks to the concerted efforts of Pastors for Texas Children and a large number of local civic groups. Despite the fervent advocacy of top Republicans, a coalition of rural Republicans and urban Democrats have stopped the voucher push for several legislative sessions.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz visited the White House in December for a public discussion about school choice, and he pitched President Donald Trump face to face on legislation he has pushed for more than a year now with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
“If and when we pass this, this will be the most significant federal civil rights victory of modern times,” Cruz said of the Education Freedom Scholarships the bill would create, providing billions of dollars in tax breaks for individuals and companies that donate to private school scholarship funds or help parents home-school their children.
“This is all about millions of kids — millions of inner-city kids, millions of African-American kids, millions of Hispanic kids, trapped right now, desperate for hope — and giving them scholarships,” the Texas Republican told Trump, who nodded in agreement. “There is nothing on the domestic front that I believe will have a longer lasting legacy in your presidency than if and when we get this done together.”
It appears Trump heard him loud and clear.
The president is expected to give the proposal a prime-time shoutout during his State of the Union address Tuesday, as he seeks his second term. Trump is expected to touch on the core planks of his re-election campaign — the economy, immigration and health care among them — with an emphasis on what he has done and wants to do for working families. School choice will be a central piece of that message, as the president plans to urge Congress to expand options for parents and students, administration officials say.
But how that message might be received in Texas is another matter. Despite the GOP majority in Austin, Texas lawmakers spent years battling over various voucher proposals with so little success that advocates gave up in 2019.
Thanks to Pastors for Texas Kids for supporting public schools with certified teachers and adequate resources.