Rep. Smith, Sen. Cruz’s Bill to Help Families Save for Education Expenses Passes U.S. House

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Thursday, Dec. 20, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Student Empowerment Act, authored by Congressman Jason Smith (MO-08) and Senator Ted Cruz (TX), to expand the use of 529 College Savings Plans to allow families to save for K-12 education expenses.

Eligible expenses would include tuition, books and instructional materials, tutoring expenses, fees for exams related to college admissions, and educational therapy for students with disabilities. Additionally, the Student Empowerment Act would allow all families to use tax-free 529 savings accounts, regardless of where their children receive their education. It would change current law, which does not permit families to use 529 savings accounts for homeschool expenses.

“The Student Empowerment Act will help working families pay for their children’s everyday K-12 education expenses, no matter where they attend school,” said Congressman Smith. “Parents know better than Washington about what’s right for their children, and this legislation will allow families to save for the expenses unique to their children’s needs. It will also end wrongful discrimination against families who homeschool their children, because every family has the right to choose where their children receive their education. I thank Senator Cruz for his partnership on this important issue to expand school choice and uphold individual liberty.”

The Student Empowerment Act was included in H.R. 88, the Retirement, Savings, and Other Tax Relief Act of 2018, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives 220 – 183.

“This important legislation builds upon the biggest school-choice initiative in American history by enabling public, private, and homeschool families to use a 529 savings account for everyday educational expenses, ensuring that every family is able to use these tax-advantaged accounts to pay for their child’s elementary and secondary education,” Sen. Cruz said. “By investing in the next generation of students and expanding school choice, we’re allowing more families to access a quality education that truly fits their child’s needs, and to escape the one-size-fits-all approach to education.”

The Retirement, Savings, and Other Tax Relief Act of 2018 now heads to the United States Senate.