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
Congressman Tim Ryan is announcing today that Kent State University is to receive a grant of $134,535 from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The project is entitled “Geographies of Health and Medical Programs in a Conflict-society” and it is a part of the NSF’s Geography and Spatial Sciences Program. The grant will fund two Kent State graduate students and one undergraduate student’s research between August 1, 2013 and April 30, 2015.
Washington – Today, Congressman Tim Ryan announced that Youngstown State University has been awarded a federal grant of $22,526 for a Nurse Anesthetist Traineeship Program. This grant was awarded by the Health Resources and Services Administration of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Congressman Tim Ryan issued the following statement on the doubling of interest rates of subsidized Stafford student loans. Republicans impeded Congressional action that was necessary to renew the lower interest rate of 3.4%, causing it to double to a rate of 6.8% on July 1.
Washington, DC – Yesterday, Congressman Tim Ryan met with Moukdala Phengmany from Garfield High School, the Ohio 13th Congressional District’s winner of the Congressional Art Competition, at the United States Capitol Building. This nationwide art competition gives students an opportunity to showcase their talent, with the winning entry to hang as part of an eleven month exhibit in the Cannon Tunnel that leads to the U.S. Capitol building.
Warren, Ohio – Congressman Ryan is pleased to announce that Kent State University (KSU) has been awarded two grants from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) totaling more than $825,000. The HHS’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has awarded $384,192 to KSU for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic Research. The HHS’s National Institute of Mental Health awarded $441,600 to KSU for Stress-Induced Noradrenergic Dysregulation of Neuroinflammation & HPA Response Research.
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tim Ryan today voted against the Republican-led Smarter Solutions for Students Act, which claims to help students, but it would make college more expensive for students and their families, forcing them into loans with variable interest rates that make the student debt crisis worse that it is currently. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the bill would cost an additional $3.7 billion over the next decade in interest payments.
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tim Ryan is pleased to announce the winners of the thirty-second Congressional Art Competition, An Artistic Discovery. This nationwide art competition gives students an opportunity to showcase their talent, with the winning entry to hang as part of an eleven month exhibit in the Cannon Tunnel that leads to the U.S. Capitol building. A ribbon-cutting and reception will be held in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, June 26th.
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tim Ryan introduced today the Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning Act, amending the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to allow funding for teacher and principal training and professional development to be used for social and emotional learning programming. Joining Congressman Ryan as original cosponsors are Congressman Dave Loebsack, Congressman Tom Petri and Congressman Matt Cartwright.
WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, Congressman Tim Ryan joined Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA), in reintroducing the Make It In America: Create Clean Energy Manufacturing Jobs in America Act, H.R. 1524. It would require that clean energy goods and equipment used in projects purchased or paid for by federal taxpayer dollars contain 85 percent American-made content. The bill sets a three-year phase-in schedule for the policy, with American content requirements set at 50 percent in the first fiscal year after enactment and 60 percent in the second.