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Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

Representing the District of Columbia

Places in Washington DC

Norton Blasts Cruz for Launching Extreme Assault on D.C.’s Local Education System

Jan 21, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today blasted Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) for introducing an unprecedented attack on District of Columbia home rule by introducing a bill to radically alter D.C.’s local education system.  Norton said Cruz’s bill is “private school vouchers on steroids,” forcing D.C. to direct its local funds away from D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) and public charter schools toward vouchers for any student who chooses to attend private schools.  Norton said this bill is an even greater slap in D.C.’s face than the existing private school voucher program, which uses only federal funds.  Norton said this is the third time Cruz has introduced anti-home-rule bills this Congress.  Shortly before announcing his presidential bid, Cruz introduced bills to overturn two D.C. anti-discrimination laws.  Last year, the House and Senate rejected all amendments to establish national voucher programs as part of the bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

“Senator Cruz’s bill is one of the most radical and blatant attacks on D.C. home rule and local control that we have witnessed, showing how easily his ambitions for the presidency allow him to dump his self-proclaimed principles of local control over local affairs,” Norton said.  “Who is Ted Cruz to tell the D.C. government how to spend their own taxpayer funds on education, a great priority in this city?  It is one thing for the federal government to meddle with D.C.’s local affairs and set up a private school voucher program with federal funds; it is quite another to force a local jurisdiction to use its own finite funds to pay for an unaccountable voucher program, taking away funding from our traditional public schools and public charter schools.  Unless there are a lot of Republicans who are anxious to nurture Cruz’s presidential ambitions, I believe I will have allies as I go all out to defeat Cruz’s latest anti-local government bill and see that it goes nowhere.”