For those of you who like to follow goings on in DC......
COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND THE WORKFORCE
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: David Schnittger
January 10, 2003
or Heather Valentine
House Education Committee Republicans Preview ' 03 Education Policy
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Republicans on the U.S. House Committee on Education
and the Workforce today previewed an ambitious education policy agenda
for the upcoming year focused on improving accountability and results
for students of all ages, helping public schools recruit and retain
highly qualified teachers, increasing education choices for low-income
families, and providing responsible spending increases for education
amid the twin challenges of war and economic uncertainty.
The committee's education efforts will again be led by Rep. John Boehner
(R-OH), the committee's chairman; Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE), chairman of
the Subcommittee on Education Reform; Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI),
chairman of the Subcommittee on Select Education; and Rep. Buck McKeon
(R-CA), chairman of the Subcommittee on 21st Century Competitiveness.
Among the priorities committee Republicans outlined today:
o Improving Special Education. Republicans hope to work with
Democrats to reauthorize and reform the Individuals with Disabilities
Education Act (IDEA) in 2003 by insisting on results for children
special needs and reducing the burden of paperwork for special
teachers. Republicans believe these reforms must be made as Congress
works to provide the significant increase in IDEA spending for states
($1 billion) requested by President Bush. The budget resolution
by House Republicans for FY 2003 calls for full funding of the
government's commitment to IDEA within 10 years - linked to reform
o Improving Quality & Accountability in Higher Education.
Republicans hope to work with Democrats to reauthorize the Higher
Education Act in 2003, with a strong emphasis on accountability and
quality in higher education. With college prices soaring to all-time
highs, parents and students are paying far more for higher education
than at any other time in U.S. history. What are they getting for
money? Republicans are particularly concerned about the poor quality
some of America's teacher colleges - a major impediment to public
schools as they work to put a highly qualified teacher in every
classroom by 2005, as called for in the bipartisan No Child Left
o Reducing Red Tape in Higher Education. Republicans and some
Democrats on the Education and the Workforce Committee are already
working together in 2003 to improve access to higher education and
address soaring college prices by enacting bipartisan legislation to
reduce red tape in federal student aid programs. The "FED UP"
legislation (H.R. 12), re-introduced this week with bipartisan
would make technical corrections to the Higher Education Act that
make it easier for Hispanic-Serving Institutions to receive federal
help college students avoid defaulting on their student loans,
that federal scholarship aid can go to low-income and minority
for law school, and improve higher education access in other ways
recommended by the higher education community.
o Increasing Support for America's Minority-Serving
Minority serving institutions of higher learning, such as
Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic Serving Institutions,
received unprecedented federal support under President George W. Bush
support committee Republicans will work to expand in the 108th
while continuing with efforts to reach out to these schools, which
President Bush has called "a vital part of our Nation's higher
o Strengthening Early Childhood Education. Strengthening the
academic focus of the federal Head Start early childhood education
program while preserving its current health and nutrition services
children is an important goal for Republicans in the 108th Congress.
Republicans' objective will be improved school readiness for Head
children through an emphasis on proven early childhood education
and practices. A similar emphasis is at the core of President Bush's
popular Reading First initiative, included in the No Child Left
Act. Enhancing academic preparedness and strengthening teacher
for instructors must be priorities as Congress reauthorizes Head
o Successfully Implementing the No Child Left Behind Act.
Republicans have pledged to continue to work with Education Secretary
Rod Paige, governors, parents, principals, and teachers across
to implement the bipartisan No Child Left Behind education reforms
signed by President Bush in 2002, bringing accountability and high
standards to federal K-12 spending to close the achievement gap
disadvantaged students and their more fortunate peers. A new
survey shows support for the President's reforms is stronger than
before, and that a significant majority of Americans believe high
standards and accountability will do more to improve schools than
increasing education funding. President Bush and Republicans will
to provide more of both.
o Supporting America's Teachers. Republicans will resume
to pass legislation proposed by President Bush and First Lady Laura
to support America's teachers and support public schools in their
attempts to recruit, train, and retain highly qualified teachers.
Legislation is expected to be introduced that would provide up to
$17,500 in federal student loan forgiveness for teachers who agree to
serve in low-income schools. Committee Republicans also hope to work
with members of the House Ways & Means Committee to expand the
credit" - the tax deduction proposed by President Bush and enacted in
February 2002 that provides a tax deduction of up to $250 a year for
teachers who pay money out of their own pockets for classroom
such as books, crayons, and other supplies.
o Preventing Child Abuse and Family Violence. Committee
Republicans will work to help prevent child abuse, neglect, and
violence by reauthorizing the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment
(CAPTA), last reauthorized in 1996. The reauthorizing legislation,
Keeping Children and Families Safe Act (H.R. 14), builds upon changes
made during the last CAPTA reauthorization to ensure states have the
necessary resources and flexibility for identifying and addressing
issues of child abuse and neglect and family violence, and for
supporting effective methods of prevention and treatment. H.R. 14
also expand adoption opportunities to help build families between
prospective parents and needy children.
o Improving Results in Vocational Education. The Carl D.
Vocational and Technical Education Act, which provides federal
assistance for secondary and postsecondary vocational education
at the high school level and at technical postsecondary and community
colleges, will be reauthorized in 2003. Committee Republicans will
emphasize improving academic achievement for vocational-technical
students and accountability for vocational-technical education at the
secondary level. Supporting innovative initiatives that promote
seamless transitions from secondary to postsecondary education will
be a focus.
o Supporting America's Libraries and Museums. Libraries and
museums play a vital role in educating children and promoting
communities. The bipartisan Museum and Library Services Act (H.R.
was introduced this week to maintain the modest but essential federal
support for museum and library contributions to public education
services, in partnership with local sources, and to promote our
heritage. Enactment of H.R. 13 is an important goal for Republicans
the 108th Congress.
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