HOUSTON, Texas – The Ted Cruz presidential campaign launched a homeschool coalition with a new video explaining why the Republican candidate is a strong supporter of school choice options.

“Being a dad is the most important job I have. That’s why I admire each parent educator so much, because you’re not only parenting, but you’re teaching your sons and daughters to know and love what is right and good.

“That is an irreplaceable gift, and our country is stronger because of it,” Cruz said in the two and a half minute video posted to his campaign’s YouTube page Monday.

Cruz also condemned politicians and labor union special interests who work to maintain the public education monopoly, as well as the one-size-fits-all national Common Core education standards opposed by many parents.

“Some on the left want to shut down those who don’t abide by the Common Core agenda, but mark my words that is not going to happen,” Cruz said. “If I’m elected president, I will direct the U.S. Department of Education – which should be abolished … I will direct the Department of Education that Common Core ends today.

“Instead, I will restore power back to the states and to the local governments and ultimately back to the parents – those closest to our kids who have direct responsibility for raising our children, each and every one mom and dad.

“It’s time to champion school choice, and especially homeschooling,” Cruz said.

The presidential candidate urges viewers to go to TedCruz.org and “click ‘join a coalition’” to get involved in his campaign’s efforts to promote homeschooling and other forms of school choice.

Cruz unveiled his “Homeschoolers for Cruz” coalition at an event in Winterset, Iowa Monday.

“The group represents homeschool communities across the country who are dissatisfied with their local school districts, the recent implementation of Common Core, or just wish to be more involved in their children’s upbringing,” according to a statement on the Cruz website.

“This coalition already totals 6,670 members, and will be co-chaired by Marlin Bontrager, William Estrada, and Vicki Crawford.”

Bontrager and his wife Becky are Iowa dairy and hog farmers who homeschooled their 10 children. The family – which is also a traveling gospel band –are leaders in the state’s homeschooling movement and host an event each year that draws over 1,500 home educators.

Estrada is a home educated former employee of the Home School Legal Defense Association, where he worked for over a decade lobbying for homeschool rights on the federal level.

Crawford is a Iowa homeschooling mother who chairs the Homeschool Iowa Capitol Day Committee for the state’s Christian home education group, according to TedCruz.org.

“The federal government does not have any role in dictating the content of curricula. Education is a state and local issue and parents should have direct input and control of what’s being taught to their children. The single most important thing in a child’s education is parental involvement,” Cruz said.

“If you or I disagree with what some bureaucrat in the federal Department of Education says, you can’t change that, and that is not the way it should be,” he said. “I have great faith in the leaders of this coalition, and the passionate supporters of homeschooling who are uniting for this cause – to take back power from the Washington Cartel and to restore choice to the people who know our students best: parents.”

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