Education | Congressman Tim Ryan
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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.

Higher Education

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

August 28, 2018 Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH), along with 172 of his House Democratic colleagues, urged Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to issue formal guidance prohibiting the use of federal education funding to buy firearms for teachers and school staff. In the letter sent to Secretary DeVos, House Democrats wrote that funding from Title IV-A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) should be used for student and school services, not to purchase firearms.

August 24, 2018 Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) today voiced opposition to the U.S. Department of Education’s proposed plan to reduce loan relief for defrauded students. Issued July 31st, the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) would reduce loan relief by $12.7 billion over 10 years and deters defrauded borrowers from asserting a claim. Congressman Ryan sent a letter to Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos expressing his opposition.

November 3, 2017 Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan released the following statement in response to the publication released this week by the American Federation of Teachers and the Badass Teachers Association. The report is the result of a survey of nearly 5,000 educators, and shows that nearly two-thirds of educators usually feel stressed out, twice the level felt by workers in the general population.  A study released by UCLA earlier this month shows that since Trump’s inauguration, high school teachers are reporting an increasing problem of stress, anxiety and bullying among their students.

October 11, 2017 Press Release

Washington, DC – Representatives Tim Ryan (D-OH) Tom Reed (R-NY), and Paul Tonko (D-NY) today introduced the Developing Tomorrow’s Engineering and Technical Workforce Act. This legislation would award grants to states educational agencies and local educational agencies to support, develop, and implement formal and informal engineering education programs in elementary schools and secondary schools. It will help provide school districts the resources to incorporate engineering and engineering technology education into their science standards.

August 15, 2017 Press Release

Warren, OH – Congressman Tim Ryan announced $1,609,045.00 to be awarded to the Portage Private Industry Council, Inc. for their Head Start programs.

August 3, 2017 Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan released the following statement in response to the Department of Education’s wavering on honoring its commitments to forgive student loan debt after ten years of service under their Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. This program was created under the College Cost Reduction Act of 2007, which was signed into law by President George W. Bush. Ryan voted in favor of this legislation.

August 2, 2017 Press Release

Washington, DC - Congressman Tim Ryan released the following statement decrying the Trump Administration's efforts to use the Department of Justice to attack affirmative action policies at colleges and universities across the United States.

July 20, 2017 Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan applauded the inclusion of language for promoting maker education and studying the effects of teacher stress in the FY2018 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Bill in the Manager’s Amendment. Due to unacceptable cuts to effective and important programs and benefits designed to lift up hardworking American’s and their families, Ryan voted against the final bill, which passed by a party-line vote of 28 - 22. 

July 18, 2017 Tim Ryan Op-Ed

Originally published in The Hill: 

We pay football coaches millions and praise them for building successful programs because the best coaches can take any group and turn them into champions. Teachers are the coaches of the classroom and they too can turn ordinary groups into extraordinary high achievers.

July 18, 2017 Tim Ryan Op-Ed

As originally published in Education Week: