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Sen. Ted Cruz Hails Goldwater’s Leadership in School Choice Revolution

November 20, 2023

Senator Ted Cruz of Texas has high praise for the Goldwater Institute’s work to make school choice a reality for millions of families across the nation.

“Goldwater, in particular, has been extraordinary in leading on school choice. Arizona has been at the tip of the spear…they’ve been a model to the entire nation,” Sen. Cruz said at the Goldwater Institute’s 2023 Annual Dinner and 35th Anniversary Celebration during a live recording of his hit podcast Verdict.

Cruz joins other high-profile luminaries in the conservative movement, from former Vice President Mike Pence to former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, in hailing the Goldwater Institute’s national leadership on education freedom.

Indeed, Goldwater’s innovative reforms have transformed the lives of countless families, and education savings accounts (ESAs) stand as a shining example of this success. Goldwater pioneered ESAs to allow parents to customize their child’s education around their unique needs, including private schooling, at-home education, or tutoring. The Institute implemented the nation’s first ESA program in Arizona more than a decade ago. Last year, Goldwater expanded ESAs to any Arizona family that wants them—establishing the new gold standard for school choice and the most expansive reform of its kind in America.

The soaring popularity of ESAs demonstrates their undeniable impact. In 2021, prior to the universal expansion, ESAs served 10,000 Arizona students. That figure has now surged to over 70,000 currently enrolled in the program, a testament to ESAs’ growing influence, especially as Goldwater and our coalition allies also expanded school choice in more than a dozen states this year alone, including six states where school choice is now universal.

Goldwater’s advocacy inspires Sen. Cruz to speak out for more educational freedom in his own state. “When it comes to school choice, Texans have been lagging behind,” he acknowledged. However, with the Goldwater Institute’s example, Cruz said he’s optimistic that Texas can catch up.

The Goldwater Institute’s impact extends well beyond Arizona’s borders, and we are committed to continuing the fight for educational freedom nationwide. We understand the profound and lasting impact educational choice has on the lives of the next generation, and we’ll keep working to ensure that all students and parents in America have the same freedom and flexibility to shape their future that Arizonans now have.

Cameron Teel is a Ronald Reagan Fellow at the Goldwater Institute.



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