As a member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, I have the unique opportunity to work directly on meaningful reforms to education in a manner that will best serve Georgia and the nation as a whole. A quality education is vital to the success of our nation’s youth and I will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that our nation has a modern education system that puts students first.
Prior to my time in Congress, our nation’s students suffered under a flawed, federal one-size-fits-all approach to education, the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). NCLB, while well intentioned, failed to accomplish the goals it was created to achieve by creating a harmful maze of bureaucracy that burdened educators instead of empowering them with the flexibility to truly evaluate how to best teach their students.
With that in mind, in 2015, I joined my colleagues in passing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act which placed education decisions in the hands of state and local officials who have the best sense of what students in their communities need to succeed, not faceless Washington bureaucrats.
Building on this notion, I have also been a vocal supporter of school choice throughout my tenure in Congress. God created every child to be unique, each with special gifts and ideas that only he or she may have. I believe that families should have the opportunity to select a K – 12 education environment that is best suited for their children, from traditional public schools to homeschooling. By empowering parents with education options, school choice is playing a vital role in helping children leave underperforming schools and access a quality education. States and local communities remain at the forefront of this great effort.
I also firmly believe that we must expand our skilled workforce to get our economy growing. Education is essential to workforce readiness and must be aligned with the in-demand jobs of our community and state.
With this in mind, I was proud to support H.R. 2353, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education (CTE) for the 21st Century Act. Current law is out of date and ineffective, thus changes are necessary to empower local leaders to prioritize economic growth and local needs. Specifically, this legislation limits the role of the federal government in Career and Technical Education programs, enables states to create their own benchmarks for personalized curriculum for in-demand jobs, and bridges the gap between the business community and the workforce.
With regards to higher education, under the leadership of Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC-5), the Education and the Workforce committee has developed its vision for the future of higher education. Specifically, my colleagues and I are seeking to simplify and improve student aid, promote access to postsecondary education, empower students to make informed decisions by strengthening transparency, and limit the role of the federal government by reducing bureaucratic red tape.
With this in mind, you may be interested to know that Chairwoman Foxx recently introduced H.R. 4508, the Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act. It has been more than 50 years since we have seen a major overhaul of the higher education system and 9 years since the last reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. Americans should no longer accept the status quo of outdated laws that aren’t working for the majority of students.
I applaud Chairwoman Foxx’s introduction of the PROSPER Act. Georgia’s 12th district is home to many higher education institutions, serving the needs of students across the state and country. I know how important it is to provide students with the skills they need to succeed in the current workforce, and that doesn’t always mean a four year degree is right for everyone. Earlier this year, I held multiple higher education roundtables throughout GA-12 to discuss reform. The feedback from the higher education community was invaluable as my colleagues and I drafted the PROSPER Act. The clear take away for me was that Georgia students need simplification, flexibility, and on the job training.
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