Congress passed, and the President signed, a bi-partisan bill to modernize and authorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act cleared both chambers of Congress. The Perkins CTE program controls over $1 billion in grants for federal, state, and local CTE programs.
This Congress, I’ve led the effort to strengthen our nation’s maritime workforce through STEM and CTE programs. Now signed into law is the Domestic Maritime Centers of Excellence Act, which I authored to direct resources for workforce training to our community and technical colleges.
Now signed into law, STOP School Violence Act (H.R. 4909) creates a grant program for schools all across the country to empower students, teachers, school officials, and law enforcement to identify early signs of violence and intervene before shootings occur on campuses.
As the husband of an elementary school teacher, I realize the important role teachers play in educating children. I strongly believe our education system is the most effective, and serves our children best, when the federal footprint in education is reduced and strict standards and penalties are eliminated. One of the most important things our government can do for local school districts is to help, not hinder, local school boards, parents, teachers, and administrators as they make decisions about educating our children.
I am a strong supporter of public education. However, I am also in favor of an all the above approach to education. School choice options such as vouchers, education savings accounts, and charter schools can and should be options for states and localities to pursue. They can provide an alternative avenue for students in underperforming schools. Just because a child resides within a certain zip code, does not mean they should be subjected to an education system that is not meeting high standards. Choice in education should not be limited to where one lives, but where one wants to go in life.
Strengthening America’s education system is important to promoting our economic security and ensuring our democracy. I believe preparing young people with the skills and knowledge to compete in a global economy requires an increased focus on science, technology, engineering and math. As just part of my work on this issue, I visited every CTE/ STEM center in VA-01 and have spoken with countless businesses about how our education system can better prepare our students to excel in the 21st century job market.
I am committed to ensuring our children have the opportunity to succeed in the 21st Century and I will continue to be an advocate in Congress to ensure that we are living up to our commitment to our Nations’ students by ensuring that the tools and the funding necessary to create a successful learning environment are available.