As a teacher for more than 20 years, I bring practical knowledge to Congress about which educational reforms will actually impact classroom performance positively, and I plan to work with my colleagues to implement them. I know that future economic prosperity requires a strong investment in education and workforce training today.
Investing in Early Childhood Education
We know that the fastest brain development occurs between birth and age five, and early childhood education programs, like Head Start, accelerate emotional and academic development and lead to future success. I firmly believe that an investment in our children is an investment in our future, which is why I support strengthening and increasing access to early childhood education programs.
I have seen firsthand the challenges our K-12 education system faces and am committed to addressing those challenges in Congress. I support repealing and replacing the flawed “No Child Left Behind” law that prescribes “one-size-fits-all” requirements on schools, teachers, and students. Instead, I will advocate for a system that prepares Americans to compete in the global economy through an emphasis on science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) education, partnerships with community colleges and industry, and engaging teaching methods.
Toward that end, I introduced HR 2897, the Access to Complete Education Act, which establishes a grant program for school districts to strengthen core curricula in one or more of the following subjects: music and arts, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, history, geography, and physical education and health. Click here to read local news coverage of this legislation. For more information about the Access to Complete Education Act, click here.
Access to quality higher education is a hallmark of American society. Unfortunately, the rising cost of college has become a serious impediment for many students. In addition to addressing the underlying causes of the rising cost, I will continue to support Pell Grants, fight to keep the interest rates on federal student loans low, and work to protect students against those for-profit colleges that leave students with unsustainable debt and worthless degrees.
In fact, I have led multiple efforts to encourage the Department of Education to issue gainful employment regulations that would require for-profit colleges to provide students with meaningful degrees.
For more information about my efforts to protect college students, click here.
I will also advocate for college-based job training and workforce development programs that help ensure our students are ready to join the workforce upon graduation. That is why I introduced HR 1271, the Job Skills for America’s Students Act, which promotes job training and skills development partnerships between businesses and educational institutions by providing a tax credit to companies who enter into such partnerships. For more information about the Job Skills for America’s Students Act, click here.
To view my speeches and interviews related to education, click here.
If you'd like to send me your thoughts on this issue, you can email me here.