Reps. Tim Ryan and Susan Davis Introduce Legislation to Advance Social and Emotional Learning

May 9, 2014 Issues: Education

Washington, DC – U.S. Repsresentatives Tim Ryan (OH-13) Susan Davis (CA-53) introduced legislation today to help schools include social and emotional learning (SEL).  The Supporting Emotional Learning (SEL) Act (H.R. 4509) would support teacher training in SEL to help young people better handle societal issues thus boosting their academic potential.  Students receiving social and emotional education do better on tests, show greater pro-social behaviors, and less emotional stress.

“I am proud to give my full support to the Supporting Emotional Learning Act,” said Congressman Ryan. “I have seen firsthand what teaching social and emotional learning can do for students and their classrooms in Ohio and across the nation. The skills these types of programs teach are essential for the foundation of what our young people need in order to be successful in school and throughout their lives. Research has confirmed that social and emotional learning is what we need in our schools and this legislation is a great step towards ensuring that every teacher has the proper techniques and resources needed to create a safe and secure school environment.”

“Research shows us that when we impart social and emotional skills to our children, they thrive both academically and socially,” said Davis, a senior member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. “Test scores improve, relationships improve, and school culture improves. We owe it to our students to invest in ways to best teach these important social and emotional skills.”

Along with adding SEL training for teachers, H.R. 4509 would also prioritize SEL by identifying it as a topic for educational research and turning it into best practices for the classroom.

The benefits of SEL reach far beyond the classroom and help prepare students for future roles as citizens, employees, managers, parents, volunteers, and entrepreneurs. In an increasingly competitive world, there is a need to equip students with the skills necessary to be knowledgeable, responsible, and caring adults.

The SEL Act has been endorsed by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL).