A high-quality education is critical for our children's future and to America succeeding in the global marketplace. As a member of the House Education and Workforce Committee, I will address the important issues like early learning, returning decision-making power to the local level and the rising cost of college tuition. Additionally, at a time of declining labor participation, I will work to reauthorize workforce training programs that help workers acquire the skills and education they need to succeed.
I’ve served on the House Education and Workforce Committee since coming to Congress in 2009, and have visited with hundreds of educators in and around the First Congressional District. I’ve also had the opportunity to speak with students and their families and a there’s a common theme in our conversations: stop Common Core, get Washington bureaucrats out of our schools and let teachers and parents decide what’s best for our kids. I was proud to serve on the conference committee tasked with ironing out the differences between the House and Senate bills to replace No Child Left Behind and ensure states and school districts cannot be coerced into adopting Common Core standards. The Every Student Succeeds Act passed the House and Senate, with my support, and was signed into law by President Obama on December 10, 2015. This important bill will give more control over education back to states and school districts, reduce burdensome federal mandates, safeguard the rights of states and school districts to determine what standards are best for their students, and support more effective teachers in the classroom.
A major priority for the Education and the Workforce Committee in the 115th Congress will be reauthorizing the Higher Education Act, the primary federal legislation for post-secondary education programs. Among our goals are simplifying federal student aid programs, giving students and parents better information to make informed decisions, reducing the regulatory burden on schools, and promoting access and accountability.
In the 114th Congress I cosponsored H.R.970, the Supporting Academic Freedom through Regulatory Relief Act. The legislation repeals several Obama Administration regulations that have been harmful to higher education, including:
- The Gainful Employment regulation, which has put a significant reporting burden on community and proprietary colleges;
- The State Authorization regulation, which requires states to follow federal requirements when deciding whether to grant an institution permission to operate within a state;
- The Credit Hour regulation, which creates a federal definition of a credit hour and increases the federal government’s control over institutions’ academic affairs;
- The Teacher Preparation regulation, which addresses teacher preparation unilaterally rather than through broader Higher Education Act reforms.
With a rapidly changing global economy, it is essential that American workers have the skills and training necessary to succeed. Congress took a significant step to help workers when it passed the Workforce Innovation and Investment Act (WIOA), originally named The SKILLS Act, in the 113th Congress. This important law consolidates ineffective programs, cuts bureaucracy, and provides more flexible job training services. In the 114th Congress I cosponsored H.R.5587, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, which reauthorizes the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. This important legislation, which helps ensure technical education is focused on meeting the needs of local communities and local employers, passed the House but was not considered by the Senate. I hope we will continue the important work of reauthorizing this program.
Jobs & the Economy
As a member of the Education and the Workforce Committee, I have joined with my colleagues to advance legislation that will strengthen our education system, improve workforce training opportunities, and protect workers’ rights. This entails encouraging innovation in Career and Technical Education and reducing the regulatory burden on students, small business owners, and working families. We must move forward in all of these areas to keep the American economy competitive in the 21st Century.