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
Washington, DC – Congressmen Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Tom Reed (R-NY) introduce the Pre-College Engineering Education Act, which makes it easier for school districts to incorporate engineering education in their science standards. Ryan and Reed are co-chairs of the House Manufacturing Caucus.
Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan made the following statement today in response to Innovation Ohio and the Ohio Education Association’s “Know Your Charter” Report:
Youngstown, Ohio – Congressman Tim Ryan announces $19,146 for Youngstown State University. This federal grant was made available through the U.S. Department of Health and Human services and this funding will go to a YSU nurse anesthetist traineeship program.
Kent, Ohio – Congressman Tim Ryan is announcing $444,238 from the National Institute on Aging of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for research on Alzheimer’s Disease to be awarded to Kent State University for a three-year grant.
Warren, Ohio – Congressman Tim Ryan announces $2,406,229 to be awarded to Trumbull Community Acton Program in Warren, Ohio.
“I’m pleased to announce that the Trumbull Community Action Program has received this important funding,” Congressman Ryan said. “Head Start’s mission to provide social services to low-income children gives our kids the support and tools they need to succeed. This program is critical to so many in our community and across the nation and I am happy that these funds are going to such a good cause.”
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tim Ryan is announcing the thirty-fifth anniversary of the Congressional Art Competition, “An Artistic Discovery.” This nationwide art competition gives local students an opportunity to showcase their talent, and a chance to have their entry hang as part of an eleven month exhibit in the Cannon Tunnel that leads to the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. The 13th Congressional District Art Competition is open to all high school students who live or attend school in the 13th Congressional District.
Ravenna, Ohio – Congressman Tim Ryan announces $498,282 in federal funds to Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) in Rootstown, Ohio. These funds were provided by the Economic Development Administration to establish a pharmaceutical-focused proof-of-concept center at NEOMED. This Center’s activities will focus on accelerating the commercialization of new pharmaceuticals to applicable markets, the creation of preclinical research protocols, and the development of a commercialization program to stimulate technology commercialization via start-up and technology licensing.
Akron, Ohio – Congressman Tim Ryan today applauds the inclusion of language from his legislation, the Salad Bar in Schools Expansion Act, in the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry’s markup of the bipartisan reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act. Congressman Tim Ryan introduced the Salad Bar in Schools Expansion Act in the House of Representatives in June of 2015.
Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan worked with Congressional colleagues and members of the Ohio and Michigan delegations to secure the inclusion of funding to remove blighted, vacant homes in Ohio and in those states affected the most by the recession and foreclosure crisis.
Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan today voted in favor of the Conference Report on the Every Student Succeeds Act (S. 1177) – which replaces No Child Left Behind and improves K-12 education in the United States.