We must improve and expand our children’s opportunity to access a quality education in in the United States of America. Investing in education is an investment into our economy, our quality of life and most importantly it is an investment into our children’s future.
Every Child Deserves a Quality Education
It is our responsibility in Congress to improve and expand our children’s opportunity to access a quality education in in the United States of America. Investing in education is an investment into our economy, our quality of life and most importantly it is an investment into our children’s future. Advancements in childhood nutrition, after-school programs, technology in schools, as well as teacher salaries, recruitment and training must be a priority for success. We have seen how severe state and federal budget cuts undermine the ability of our local school districts to provide a quality education for our children; this has resulted in overcrowded and dilapidated schools, overburdened and stressed teachers, increased class sizes, and 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.
As a father and the husband of an elementary school teacher, I understand the need for Congress to improve education and ensure equal access to a quality education. That is why I supported the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which includes commonsense provisions that ensure our young people get the education they deserve. This legislation gives states greater power to close the achievement gap for disadvantaged students, reduces overreliance on standardized testing, and gives teachers and schools the resources they need to be successful.
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 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.
In 2011, I introduced the Academic, Social and Emotional Learning Act to allow federal funding for teacher and principal training to be used for SEL programming. As we have seen in schools in our district, SEL helps increase attendance, decrease suspensions and behavioral incidences, and improve attention and participation among students. Creating a healthy and safe environment for students to learn is essential to a quality education. I was proud that language that will help expand and make the teaching of social and emotional learning more effective was included in the ESSA. Creating a healthy and safe environment for students to learn is essential to a quality education and I am proud this bill continues to advance this important cause. I will continue to support legislation that helps our young people both boost their academic potential and teach them how to build the relationships and skills necessary to be a productive member of the American workforce.
Charter School Accountability
Ohio is home to nearly 400 taxpayer-funded charter schools that educate approximately 123,000 students. These families and children deserve a charter school system that promotes transparency and is held accountable to make sure every student is receiving the best education. That is why I introduced the Charter School Accountability Act to increase transparency and oversight of the U.S. charter school system. I was pleased that the ESSA strengthens the accountability and transparency within the charter school program, including language from this bill. Ohio students attending charter schools, and their parents, should never have to worry if they are getting the education they are owed.
Education does not stop after high school and we need to improve equality and access at the college level as well. College costs are increasing at a much faster rate than the financial aid given to students and their families. Since 1978, the cost of college tuition has increased by an astounding 1200%, with no real end in sight. Our students are drowning in the debt they were forced to take on to cover these rising costs, and they are too often saddled with tremendous debts long after they complete their education. To make interest rates for college students more affordable, I cosponsored the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, which allows borrowers with existing student loans to refinance at the lower interest rates available to new borrowers. Student borrowers should not have to wait for relief when they need help now.
Salad Bars in Schools
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 there is a salad bar available for 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 introduced the Salad Bars in Schools Act, which supports creating a grant program that would allow schools to work with existing non-profits that promote getting more salad bars into our children’s schools.
More on Education
Youngstown, Ohio – Congressman Tim Ryan is announcing today a $368,466 grant for Family & Community Services from AmeriCorps, the federal agency for service and volunteering to support a new AmeriCorps VISTA Project. The project will fund 18 full-time positions and provide up to $133,010 in additional funding for education scholarships for the AmeriCorps VISTA members to help pay for college, vocational training, or to assist them in paying back student loans.
Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) is announcing a federal grant of $539,218 for the University of Akron for their Talent Search Program, which helps the university identify and assist individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds who have the potential to succeed in higher education. The program provides academic, career, and financial counseling to its participants and encourages them to graduate from high school and complete their postsecondary education.
Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13), member of the House Appropriations Committee and Chairman of the Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee and Vice-Chair of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, released the following statement after securing nearly $18 million for all ten local Community Funding Projects that he submitted in the government funding package that passed the House of Representatives today.
Kent, Ohio — Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) today announced three National Science Foundation grants totaling over $1.6 million for Kent State University. A grant of $1 million will aim to ensure the retention of newly hired secondary STEM teachers in high-needs settings.
Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) today joins with the U.S. Department of Education to announce the approval of Ohio’s American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) plan and distribute remaining ARP ESSER funds to Ohio. Ohio’s plan details how the state will use ARP ESSER funds to safely reopen and sustain the safe operation of schools and equitably expand opportunity for students who need it most, particularly those most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) today released the following statement in response to President Joe Biden’s FY22 budget. In addition to the transformative proposals in the American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan, and among its many important components, President Biden’s budget invests in creating jobs, rebuilding our public health infrastructure, taking action on climate change, and strengthening America’s place in the world. Across every agency, President Biden’s budget has a relentless focus on fostering equity.
Kent, Ohio — Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) today announces $241,662 to Kent State University from the National Science Foundation Grant to continue the study of liquid crystals. Kent State University discovered liquid crystals more than 50 years ago and continues to be a leader in the field. Liquid crystals are used in television screens, cell phone screens, and countless other technologies.
Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) released the following statement after President Biden delivered a joint address to Congress highlighting the important work his Administration is doing to help Americans recover after the global health and economic crisis we have faced over the past year as well as the steps he’s taking to build back better and put our country on the right track for generations to come.
Washington, DC – Representative Tim Ryan (OH-13) today introduced the Social and Emotional Learning for Families (SELF) Act on International SEL Day. The bill authorizes a competitive grant program to increase the capacity of teachers and school leaders to work with families to develop and support the social and emotional skills, habits, and mindsets of children.
Kent, Ohio — Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) today is announcing a total of $1.2 million in grant funding for Kent State University for cancer and DNA research. The University is receiving two grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the first in the amount of $445,431 for cancer treatment research and the second grant of $454,646 for cancer detection and diagnostic research.