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Ted Cruz and Sheila Jackson Lee join forces for school choice

Senator Ted Cruz
Senator Ted Cruz
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas and Rep, Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas are not usually on the same side of any issue. But they agree on the issue of school choice, an idea that students should be able to attend private and parochial schools with their tuition subsidized with tax dollars. The theory is that throwing in competition would force the public school system to reform while channeling children to better run private schools.

The Houston Chronicle reported on January 25, 2014 that Cruz and Lee addressed a school choice rally in Houston, Texas. The Houston Independent School District has a system of magnet schools that have enriched programs on such subjects as math, science, and drama. Texas also has a system of charter schools that are run by private entities and are freed from public school regulations.

Cruz stated that school choice is the “civil rights issue of the 21st Century.” Lee added that “limiting opportunities is an injustice to all students.”

The interesting thing about this unlikely alliance is that Cruz is a tea party conservative while Lee is a down the line liberal Democrat. They have been on opposite sides of many other issues, such as gun control. Nevertheless they seem to have found common ground on an important educational issue.