Congressman Ryan believes that improving education and providing the opportunity for all citizens to access quality education needs to be a number one priority.
I understand the need for Congress to improve education and provide the opportunity for citizens to access a quality education in America. Investing in education is an investment into our economy and quality of life. Advancements in childhood nutrition, after-school programs, technology in schools, as well as teacher salaries and teacher recruitment and training must be a priority for success. We have seen severe state budget cuts undermine the ability of states and local school districts to provide a quality education to all American children; this has resulted in overcrowded and dilapidated schools, overburdened teachers, increased class sizes, inadequate support services like special education, after-school care and preschool programs. That is why I have continually voted against legislation that would make drastic cuts to our children’s education.
Social Emotional Learning:
In the last few years, I have become convinced of the necessity of teaching social and emotional learning skills to our children, and have worked with some great leaders in bringing the financial and intellectual skills and expertise to the Youngstown and Warren City Schools. Social and Emotional Learning is a process that promotes the development of core personal competencies: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationships skills, and responsible decision-making, all within a safe, caring, and participatory learning environment.
That is why I introduced the Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning Act of 2015 (HR 850). The act defines social and emotional learning (SEL) and amends the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to allow funding for teacher and principal training and professional development to be used for SEL programming.
We must do more to help raise awareness and educate our children on how to eat healthier both at home and at school. Most children consume a least half of their meals at school, with more than 32 million participating in the National School Lunch Program and more than 12 million participating in the School Breakfast Program. Research shows that children are much more likely to consume healthy fresh food if the food is presented in the form of a salad bar, allowing children to build and create their own meal. However, the upfront cost of acquiring the equipment and the investment in planning and administering a salad bar can be too costly for most schools to undertake with existing resources. That is why I support creating a grant program that would allow schools to work with existing non-profits that promote salad bars in schools.