House Education & Workforce Committee

Committee Approves Bill to Replace No Child Left Behind, Improve K-12 Education

Education & the Workforce Committee - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 8:00pm
The House Education and the Workforce Committee, chaired by Rep. John Kline (R-MN), today approved the Student Success Act (H.R. 5). Introduced by Chairman Kline and Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Chairman Todd Rokita (R-IN), this responsible legislation will repair the nation’s broken K-12 education system by reducing the federal footprint, restoring local control, and empowering parents and education leaders to hold schools accountable. The committee approved the bill by a vote of 21 to 16.

"The Student Success Act helps provide American families the education system they deserve, not the one Washington wants,” said Chairman Kline. “I want to thank all my colleagues for engaging in a robust debate and offering their ideas to improve education. We have a lot of work ahead, and we will continue to move forward in a manner that is open, transparent, and fair. America’s parents, teachers, and students have waited long enough for a new law that helps every child in every school receive an excellent education. This important bill will move us closer toward that goal, and I look forward to continuing the debate in the weeks ahead.”

“The status quo in our nation’s K-12 education system is hurting students,”said Rep. Rokita, “and the committee has taken a bold step in a new direction. Today we signaled to moms, dads, teachers, administrators, and state officials that we trust them to hold schools accountable for delivering a quality education to every child. I am honored to have led this effort with Chairman Kline, and I look forward to advancing these important reforms through the House and Senate and enacting them into law. It is time to place control of our nation’s classrooms back in the hands of the parents and educators who know their children best.”

As passed by the committee, the Student Success Act:
  • Replaces the current national accountability scheme based on high stakes tests with state-led accountability systems, returning responsibility for measuring student and school performance to states and school districts.
                        
  • Ensures parents continue to have the information they need to hold local schools accountable.
                      
  • Repeals more than 65 ineffective, duplicative, and unnecessary programs and replaces the maze of programs with a Local Academic Flexible Grant, helping schools better support students.
                            
  • Protects state and local autonomy over decisions in the classroom by preventing the Secretary of Education from coercing states into adopting Common Core or any other common standards or assessments, as well as reining in the secretary’s regulatory authority.
                                                  
  • Empowers parents with more school choice options by continuing support for magnet schools and expanding charter school opportunities, as well as allowing Title I funds to follow low-income children to the traditional public or charter school of the parent’s choice.
                     
  • Strengthens existing efforts to improve student performance among targeted student populations, including English learners and homeless children.

To read opening statements, review amendments, or watch an archived webcast of today’s markup, visit www.edworkforce.house.gov/markups.

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Kline Statement: Markup of H.R. 5, the Student Success Act

Education & the Workforce Committee - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 12:00am

Today the committee will consider H.R. 5, the Student Success Act, a bill to improve K-12 education by reducing the federal footprint, restoring local control, and empowering parents and education leaders to hold schools accountable.

We are here for three important reasons.

First, the nation’s elementary and secondary education system is fundamentally broken. Too many students are dropping out of high school, and those who do graduate are often ill-equipped to complete a college education and compete in the workforce. Many parents are left with few or no options to rescue their children from bad schools.

Every child deserves an excellent education, and we are failing miserably at providing every child that opportunity. Year after year, we examine the problems and talk about solutions. Yet despite all the rhetoric, reports, and hearings, nothing changes. Something has to change, which leads to the second reason we are here this morning: It is time to pursue a different course.

For the last 50 years, Washington has assumed more programs, more spending, and more top-down mandates will cure an ailing education system. We have doubled down on this approach time and again, and it isn’t working. Federal control over the nation’s schools continues to grow, while student achievement remains stagnant.

Success in school should be determined by those who teach inside our classrooms; by administrators and local leaders who understand the challenges facing their communities; by parents who know better than anyone the needs of their children.

That is why I am proud to sponsor this legislation. By reducing the federal footprint, restoring local control, and empowering parents and education leaders, the Student Success Act will help provide all children access to an effective education. The bill is a commonsense response to a status quo that has failed students for far too long.

The Student Success Act will ensure our investment in K-12 education is more efficient and effective. The bill eliminates more than 65 ineffective, duplicative, and unnecessary programs, and replaces this maze of programs with a Local Academic Flexible Grant. H.R. 5 provides the freedom to allocate resources in a way that reflects local priorities, not Washington’s priorities.

The Student Success Act strengthens accountability by replacing the current one-size-fits-all scheme with state-led accountability systems, returning to states, parents, and local leaders the responsibility for measuring student performance and improving underperforming schools.

The Student Success Act recognizes that with the investment of federal resources comes a limited federal role. For example, the bill continues annual assessments in reading and math. We’ve learned the federal government can help shine light on school performance, including how schools support the most vulnerable students. By maintaining this provision, we are empowering parents and education leaders to hold their schools accountable with meaningful information.

However, we’ve also learned there is too much opportunity under current law for the secretary to impose his will on schools. That is why the bill prevents the Secretary of Education from coercing states into adopting a certain set of assessments or standards. The legislation also reforms the regulatory process to provide greater transparency and accountability over rules affecting K-12 classrooms.

Finally, the Student Success Act reaffirms that choice is a powerful lifeline for children trapped in failing schools. Whether strengthening the magnet school program, expanding access to quality charter schools, or allowing funds to follow low-income students, the legislation will help spread the promise of school choice to families across the country.

These are just some of the reforms included in the Student Success Act. No doubt members will address other provisions throughout today’s meeting, and I look forward to a robust debate.

I would like to close by noting the third and final reason we are here today. The time to pursue a different course is now. Parents, teachers, education leaders, and students have waited long enough for Congress to replace No Child Left Behind. It has been 13 years since a comprehensive elementary and secondary education reform bill was signed into law and more than seven years since that law expired.

We have a lot of work ahead, and it’s time to get started. It is important to remember this is one step in a long process, one that will continue to be open and transparent. Every member has an opportunity to express his or her views, offer amendments, and have an up or down vote. I am confident members will have the same opportunity should the legislation be considered by the whole House. That is the legislative process: open, transparent, and fair.

I urge my colleagues to work with us to move this process forward.

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Rokita Statement: Markup of H.R. 5, the Student Success Act

Education & the Workforce Committee - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 12:00am

After seven years of delay, today marks an important step in replacing a failing law, one that has deprived students an opportunity to earn a lifetime of success. If stagnant student achievement and disappointing graduation rates have taught us anything, it is that expanding the federal government’s footprint in classrooms does not prepare students with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed.

No Child Left Behind’s strict rules and onerous regulations and the Obama administration’s inappropriate waiver scheme have hindered progress and stymied local reform efforts to improve learning for every child.

The Student Success Act gets Washington bureaucrats out of the business of running schools and places control back in the hands of the parents and teachers who know their children best. 

Before I explain a number of changes in the substitute amendment, I would like to highlight several of the legislation’s key reforms that will repair the nation’s broken education system.

First, the Student Success Act reduces the federal footprint and restores control of the classroom to parents and state and local education leaders.

It prohibits the federal government from encouraging one-size-fits-all prescriptions that may help students in California, but may worsen outcomes for students in Indiana.

The bill repeals ineffective federal requirements governing accountability, teacher quality, and local spending that hamstring the ability of states and school districts to improve student learning for their unique student populations.

The legislation also includes several measures that prevent the Secretary of Education from coercing states to adopt Common Core and from placing additional burdens on states and school districts that affect standards, assessments, and accountability plans.

Second, the Student Success Act empowers parents and state and local education leaders to hold schools accountable for effectively teaching students. It is the right of every parent and taxpayer to know whether their local schools are delivering an excellent education. However, this is a state and local responsibility, not a federal responsibility. The legislation allows states the flexibility to develop their own systems for addressing school performance.

The legislation also expands opportunities for parents and children to escape underperforming or failing schools. Alternative educational options play a critical role to charting a better path for students. In my home state of Indiana, the Charles A. Tindley Accelerated School’s rigorous curriculum and laser-focus on preparing students for higher education has helped more than 80 percent of its alumni earn a bachelor’s degree.

Americans deserve an education system that prepares our children to succeed in colleges, careers, and life. The onus is on us, as elected officials, to enact commonsense reforms that will put power back in the hands of the moms, dads, teachers, administrators, and state officials who can make the biggest difference in every child’s education.

In closing, the proposed substitute makes a number of technical and clarifying changes that will support state and local efforts to improve education. For instance, the substitute clarifies state education leaders should consult with representatives of Indian tribes when developing state plans. It also clarifies federal funds can be used to support all academic subjects and permits states to support local efforts to develop and implement blended learning models for their students. Finally, the substitute helps ensure more schools and students can benefit from effective education practices by supporting the wide dissemination of relevant education research.

I encourage my colleagues to support the substitute and the underlying bill, and I yield back the balance of my time.

# # #

***MEDIA ADVISORY*** Rokita to Hold Hearing on Student Privacy

Education & the Workforce Committee - Tue, 02/10/2015 - 12:00am

On Thursday, February 12 at 11:15 a.m., the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education will hold a hearing to explore the use of new technology in the classroom and examine the need to modernize the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The hearing, entitled “How Emerging Technology Affects Student Privacy,” will take place in room 2175 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

Advancements in classroom technology have become an important tool, enabling educators and researchers to develop new solutions to improve student learning. However, with the benefit of more technology comes the risk of compromising student privacy. The law intended to ensure parents' rights and safeguard student records, FERPA, has not been significantly updated in 40 years. As a result, parents and students have become vulnerable to the inappropriate use of student data, often without their knowledge or consent.

Thursday’s hearing will provide members an opportunity to learn more about the role new technology is playing in classrooms and school accountability, its impact on student privacy, and the need to advance reforms that will strengthen student privacy protections. 

To learn more about the hearing, visit http://edworkforce.house.gov/hearings

# # #

WITNESS LIST

Ms. Shannon Sevier
Vice President for Advocacy
National Parent Teacher Association
San Antonio, TX

Ms. Allyson Knox
Director of Education Policy and Programs
Microsoft
Washington, D.C.

Dr. Sheryl R. Abshire
Chief Technology Officer
Calcasieu Parish Public Schools
Lake Charles, LA

Mr. Joel R. Reidenberg
Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair and Professor of Law
Founding Academic Director
Center on Law and Information Policy
Fordham Law School
New York, NY

House, Senate Leaders Move to Stop NLRB Ambush Election Rule

Education & the Workforce Committee - Mon, 02/09/2015 - 12:00am
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Rep. John Kline (R-MN), Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN), and Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) today began an effort to stop the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) from implementing its “ambush election” rule, which was finalized in December to shorten the length of time in which a labor union certification election is held — currently a median 38 days — to as little as 11 days.
 
Leaders in the House and Senate have authored a joint resolution of Congress that would halt implementation of the rule through the Congressional Review Act.
 
“The National Labor Relations Board is supposed to be a neutral arbiter of federal labor law," said House Speaker Boehner. "Yet under the president’s watch, it has pursued a culture of union favoritism that is detrimental to America’s workers and job creators. The recent ambush election rule will deny workers their right to make fully informed decisions in union elections. Congress will not stand idly by and let that happen.”

“This Administration’s appointees on the National Labor Relations Board released their so-called ‘ambush’ rule back in December,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. “It’s designed with one purpose in mind — to fatten the wallets of powerful political bosses by threatening the rights of middle-class workers to make informed decisions of their own. Republicans think an employee’s personal information is none of the business of powerful political bosses. But the Administration’s ‘ambush’ rule would allow these bosses to access things like personal email addresses and cell numbers — without permission from the employee.”

“The Obama labor board is moving forward with a radical plan that will stifle employer free speech, cripple worker free choice, and jeopardize the privacy of workers and their families,” said Kline, chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee. “Congress must use every available tool to stop this flawed regulatory scheme. I am pleased to join my House and Senate colleagues in authoring this resolution and hope Congress will send it to the president as soon as possible.”
 

"This rule allows a union to force an election before an employee has a chance to figure out what is going on," said Alexander, chairman of the Senate labor committee. "It also jeopardizes employees' privacy by requiring employees to turn over personal information including email addresses, phone numbers, shift hours, and locations to union organizers."               
 
“It is prudent that Congress protect employees from this activist NLRB,” said Roe, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions. “For far too long, we’ve seen this out-of-control board violate the rights of American workers and employers by regulatory overreach, and I am proud to introduce this resolution with my colleagues.”

“The National Labor Relations Board has lost its way. Instead of fairly enforcing the National Labor Relations Act, the board has made up a new rule out of thin air that only helps political organizations and special interests,” said Enzi, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee. “This ‘ambush election’ rule is an example. I’m pleased to join with my colleagues in this effort to make sure employees can have the information and time they need to make informed decisions.”

Under the Congressional Review Act, the House and Senate vote on a joint resolution of disapproval to stop, with the full force of law, a federal agency from implementing a rule or regulation or issuing a substantially similar regulation without congressional authorization. A resolution of disapproval only needs a simple majority to pass and cannot be filibustered or amended.
 
In December, the NLRB released its final rule to authorize “ambush elections,” in an attempt to speed up union elections, which could take place in as few as 11 days. The rule gives employers no time to communicate with their employees before a union election and undermines the ability of workers to make an informed decision. In addition, it will compromise worker privacy by forcing employers to provide employees’ personal email addresses, work schedules, personal cell phone numbers, and other personal information to union organizers without employees’ consent. The rule only gives employers seven days to find legal counsel and prepare for a pre-election hearing before an NLRB regional officer. During those seven days, employers will have to identify every legal concern or forfeit the ability to raise the concern at all. The ambush election rule will go into effect April 14, 2015. 
                                                                                                                                                             

# # #


***MEDIA ADVISORY*** Committee to Mark Up the Student Success Act

Education & the Workforce Committee - Mon, 02/09/2015 - 12:00am

On Wednesday, February 11 at 10:00 a.m., the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, chaired by Rep. John Kline (R-MN), will mark up the Student Success Act (H.R. 5). The markup will take place in room 2175 of the Rayburn House Office Building. 

There is broad, bipartisan agreement the current elementary and secondary education law, known asNo Child Left Behind, is no longer meeting the needs of all students. One of five students do not receive a high school diploma and, of those who do, too few have the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in postsecondary education and compete in the workforce.

To replace No Child Left Behind and improve education, Chairman Kline and Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Chairman Todd Rokita (R-IN) introduced the Student Success Act. The legislation will reduce the federal footprint and restore local control, while empowering parents and education leaders to hold schools accountable for effectively teaching students.

H.R. 5 – STUDENT SUCCESS ACT:

  • Replaces the current national accountability scheme based on high stakes tests with state-led accountability systems, returning responsibility for measuring student and school performance to states and school districts.
               
  • Ensures parents continue to have the information they need to hold local schools accountable.
                          
  • Consolidates more than 65 ineffective, duplicative, and unnecessary programs into a Local Academic Flexible Grant, helping schools better support students.
                                   
  • Protects state and local autonomy over decisions in the classroom by preventing the Secretary of Education from coercing states into adopting Common Core or any other common standards or assessments, as well as reining in the secretary’s regulatory authority.
                      
  • Empowers parents with more school choice options by continuing support for magnet schools and expanding charter school opportunities, as well as allowing Title I funds to follow low-income children to the traditional public or charter school of the parent’s choice.
                                                       
  • Strengthens existing efforts to improve student performance among targeted student populations, including English learners and homeless children.

To learn more about the Student Success Act, click here.

To learn more about the markup, visit www.edworkforce.house.gov/markups.

# # #

Rep. Messer Introduces Bill to Safeguard Students and Educators from ObamaCare Burdens

Education & the Workforce Committee - Thu, 02/05/2015 - 12:00am

House Education and the Workforce Committee Member Luke Messer (R-IN) today introduced legislation that would exempt schools, colleges, and universities from the health care law’s employer mandate. The Safeguarding Classrooms Hurt by ObamaCare’s Obligatory Levies (SCHOOL) Act (H.R. 769) provides relief to schools burdened by the president’s flawed health care law.

“We shouldn’t be taxing schools to pay for the president’s health care law,” said Rep. Messer. “And, if we care about our kids, we will do something about it. The SCHOOL Act will stop the ObamaCare tax on school districts, save jobs, and help ensure more money is left in cash-strapped school budgets for teacher development and student learning.”

“The president’s health care law is making it harder for educators to provide students a quality education,” said Chairman Kline. “Colleges, universities, and K-12 classrooms are facing tough challenges, and we shouldn’t allow a flawed health care law to make those challenges worse. The SCHOOL Act is a responsible solution to this problem. I want to thank Rep. Messer for his leadership on this important issue and urge my colleagues to support this effort.”

Reports continue to reveal ObamaCare’s consequences on the nation’s school system – from diminished hours and wages for teachers, to reduced services for students. This confirms the negative feedback the committee has received from education stakeholders. For example, at an oversight hearing witnesses testified the law would increase costs at K-12 school districts and raise tuition at colleges and universities. To help protect administrators, teachers, and students from the negative effects of the health care law, the SCHOOL Act does the following:

  • Exempts K-12 schools, institutions of higher education, and state and local educational agencies from the requirements of the health care law’s employer mandate.
                                                 
  • Requires the secretary of education to evaluate the impact of the SCHOOL Act on schools’ ability to meet the educational needs of low-income students and institutions’ ability to maintain current academic opportunities.

# # #

Kline Statement: Expanding Opportunity in America’s Schools and Workplaces

Education & the Workforce Committee - Wed, 02/04/2015 - 12:00am

Last week, we were reminded once again of the persistent challenges facing the American people. The Department of Commerce reported that the economy grew a meager 2.6 percent in the last quarter of 2014. According to the Wall Street Journal, we have now experienced nine straight years of growth below three percent.

This anemic economy is hurting families across the country; it’s hurting nearly nine million workers who remain unemployed; it’s hurting more than six million workers who need full-time jobs but can only find part-time work; it’s hurting moms and dads trying to pay the bills and put food on the table with smaller paychecks.

As workplaces continue to struggle, so do the nation’s schools. One out of five students will drop out of high school before receiving a diploma. Making matters worse, far too many students graduate without the knowledge and skills they need to pursue higher education or compete in the workforce. Meanwhile, college costs continue to soar, and graduates are leaving college with too much debt and too few job prospects.

These are tough problems that have been around for years, and unfortunately, the president’s policies are making them worse. The Obama administration continues to pursue new rules and regulations that jeopardize employee rights, stymie growth, and make it harder for employers to raise wages and create new jobs. A convoluted waiver system is creating more confusion and uncertainty in K-12 schools and flawed regulatory schemes will deny students access to the college or university of their choice.

And just this week, the president put forward a budget proposal that calls for more spending, more taxes, and more borrowing to create new government programs. Middle-class families are being squeezed, and a larger federal presence in classrooms and workplaces is not the answer. The president wants us to double down on the failed policies of the last six years. The American people deserve better. We need to do better.

We must provide employers certainty and flexibility so they can grow their businesses, create new jobs, and give workers the raise they’ve earned. We must help more students pursue the dream of a college degree without living a nightmare of debt and unemployment. We must advance K-12 education reform that empowers parents and places more control in the hands of teachers and local decision-makers. We must modernize our pension system and hold the administration accountable for policies that make it harder for individuals to succeed in school and the workplace.

The American people are desperate to move the country in a new direction; they are not willing to accept slow growth and stagnant wages as the new normal; they deserve bold solutions that will lead to a strong, vibrant economy, more good paying jobs, and higher incomes for working families. These are the priorities shared by most Americans and they must be our priorities as well.

In the coming months, we intend to advance responsible reforms that will help make a difference in the lives of students, employers, teachers, and working families. We have an excellent panel of witnesses to tell us what’s working and what isn’t, and to help inform our efforts moving forward. Again, I want to thank our witnesses for joining us and look forward to our discussion.

Kline, Rokita Introduce Bill to Replace No Child Left Behind

Education & the Workforce Committee - Tue, 02/03/2015 - 12:00am
House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Subcommittee Chairman Todd Rokita (R-IN) today introduced legislation to improve K-12 education and replace No Child Left Behind. Based on a proposal passed by the House in 2013, the Student Success Act (H.R. 5) will reduce the federal footprint and restore local control, while empowering parents and education leaders to hold schools accountable for effectively teaching students.

“Every child in every school deserves an excellent education,” said Chairman Kline. “Unfortunately, our nation is falling far short of that goal, and countless children are paying the price. This proposal provides an opportunity to chart a new course, one that places less faith in the Department of Education and more faith in the parents and education leaders who know best how to address the needs of their children. The Student Success Act will provide moms, dads, teachers, and administrators the support and flexibility they need to deliver students an education that prepares them for a lifetime of opportunity and success.”

“Continuing to leave students, states, and school districts tied to a failing law is unacceptable,” said Rep. Rokita. “This bill is designed to restore educational control to its proper place and reduce the federal government’s intrusion into our classrooms.  By empowering families, teachers, and local school districts, we can place more students on a successful path.  With more than a decade since any reforms have been enacted, I see advancing the Student Success Act as an example of why I came to Washington as part of ‘the new crew’ – to help Americans build better lives for themselves by reducing the footprint of the federal government.”

Chairman Kline continued, “Over the last four years, the committee has held more than a dozen hearings that examined the challenges facing K-12 classrooms. Americans have waited long enough for reforms that will fix a broken education system. We have a lot of work to do, and now is the time to get started. Today marks an important step toward a new law that will better serve educators, parents, and students. As the legislative process unfolds, I look forward to working with my Republican and Democrat colleagues and considering their ideas for improving the law.”

Student Success Act: 
  • Replaces the current national accountability scheme based on high stakes tests with state-led accountability systems, returning responsibility for measuring student and school performance to states and school districts.
                      
  • Ensures parents continue to have the information they need to hold local schools accountable.
                    
  • Consolidates more than 65 ineffective, duplicative, and unnecessary programs into a Local Academic Flexible Grant, helping schools better support students.
                     
  • Protects state and local autonomy over decisions in the classroom by preventing the Secretary of Education from coercing states into adopting Common Core or any other common standards or assessments, as well as reining in the secretary’s regulatory authority.
                              
  • Strengthens existing efforts to improve student performance among targeted student populations, including English learners and homeless children.
                                  
  • Empowers parents with more school choice options by continuing support for magnet schools and expanding charter school opportunities, as well as allowing federal  funds to follow low-income children to the traditional public or charter school of the parent’s choice.

To learn more about the Student Success Act, click here.

# # #

***MEDIA ADVISORY*** Gov. Mike Pence to Testify on Policies Affecting America’s Schools, Workplaces

Education & the Workforce Committee - Mon, 02/02/2015 - 12:00am
On Wednesday, February 4 at 10:00 a.m., Governor Mike Pence (R-IN) will testify at a hearing chaired by House Committee on Education and the Workforce Chairman John Kline (R-MN). The hearing, entitled “Expanding Opportunity in America’s Schools and Workplaces,” will take place in room 2175 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

Workplaces and schools across the country face significant challenges. More than eight million workers are unemployed, while another 6.8 million individuals are working part-time hours when they need full-time jobs. Wages remain stagnant and economic growth slowed in the last quarter of 2014. Meanwhile, approximately one out of five students will drop out of high school before receiving a diploma. Those who do graduate are often unprepared to pursue a postsecondary education and compete in the workforce.

To help the country move in a new direction, Congress is advancing reforms to improve education for America’s students and expand opportunity for working families. Wednesday’s hearing will allow committee members to learn about efforts by state leaders to strengthen education and spur job creation.
 
For more information on Wednesday’s hearing, visit edworkforce.house.gov/hearings. To watch a live webcast of the hearing, click here.

# # #
 
WITNESS LIST

The Honorable Mike Pence
Governor
State of Indiana
Indianapolis, IN

Dr. Michael Amiridis
Provost
University of South Carolina
Columbia, SC

Mr. Drew Greenblatt
President and CEO
Marlin Steel
Baltimore, MD
Testifying on behalf of the National Association of Manufacturers

Dr. Lawrence Mishel
President
Economic Policy Institute
Washington, DC

Kline Statement on President’s Budget Proposal

Education & the Workforce Committee - Mon, 02/02/2015 - 12:00am
House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2016 budget proposal:


A budget reflects priorities, and it’s clear the president’s priorities continue to be more spending, more taxes, and more government. This budget would perpetuate what we’ve experienced in recent years: an anemic economy, sluggish job growth, and stagnant wages. Middle-class families are being squeezed, and the president wants to double-down on the same failed policies of the last six years.

The American people deserve better. We need to do better. We must provide employers certainty and flexibility so they can grow their businesses, create jobs, and give workers the raise they’ve earned. We must help more students pursue the dream of a college degree without living a nightmare of debt and unemployment. We must advance K-12 education reform that empowers parents and places more control in the hands of teachers and local decision-makers.

Far too many students are trapped in failing schools, and workers are struggling to pay the bills and provide for their families. While the president has missed another opportunity to unite us as a country and begin tackling these tough challenges, Congress will move forward with commonsense reforms that will help make a difference in the lives of students, workers, teachers, and job creators. That is what the American people expect, and that is precisely what Congress will aim to do.

# # #

Committee Announces Republican Subcommittee Assignments for 114th Congress

Education & the Workforce Committee - Wed, 01/28/2015 - 12:00am

The House Education and the Workforce Committee today released subcommittee assignments for Republicans members in the 114th Congress.

“We have a lot to do over the next two years,” said Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline. “Our success will be due in no small part to the great work of our subcommittees. We have a dedicated team, and I look forward to working with each member as we advance commonsense reforms to strengthen our nation’s classrooms and workplaces.”

The subcommittee assignments for Republican members are as follows:

Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education
Todd Rokita, Indiana (Chairman)
Duncan Hunter, California
Glenn Thompson, Pennsylvania
Dave Brat, Virginia
Buddy Carter, Georgia
Michael Bishop, Michigan
Glenn Grothman, Wisconsin
Steve Russell, Oklahoma
Carlos Curbelo, Florida

Subcommittee on Workforce Protections
Tim Walberg, Michigan (Chairman)
Duncan Hunter, California
Glenn Thompson, Pennsylvania
Todd Rokita, Indiana
Dave Brat, Virginia
Michael Bishop, Michigan
Steve Russell, Oklahoma
Elise Stefanik, New York

Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training
Virginia Foxx, North Carolina (Chairwoman)
David P. Roe, Tennessee
Matt Salmon, Arizona
Brett Guthrie, Kentucky
Lou Barletta, Pennsylvania
Joe Heck, Nevada
Luke Messer, Indiana
Bradley Byrne, Alabama
Carlos Curbelo, Florida
Elise Stefanik, New York
Rick Allen, Georgia

Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions
David P. Roe, Tennessee (Chairman)
Joe Wilson, South Carolina
Virginia Foxx, North Carolina
Tim Walberg, Michigan
Matt Salmon, Arizona
Brett Guthrie, Kentucky
Lou Barletta, Pennsylvania
Joe Heck, Nevada
Luke Messer, Indiana
Bradley Byrne, Alabama
Buddy Carter, Georgia
Glenn Grothman, Wisconsin
Rick Allen, Georgia

To view the list of subcommittee assignments online, click here.

 

# # #

Republican Leaders Recognize National School Choice Week

Education & the Workforce Committee - Tue, 01/27/2015 - 12:00am
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), and House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) issued the following statements in recognition of National School Choice Week:                        


Speaker Boehner:

A good education is the great equalizer in America, and parents deserve the chance to pick the schools that will best meet their kids’ needs and aspirations. Instead of sticking with the top-down system that has let too many students slip through the cracks, Washington should embrace a future of empowerment and opportunity. School choice works, it’s the right thing to do, and it will continue to be a priority in the people’s House. 

Majority Leader McCarthy:

School choice is about giving kids the opportunity to get ahead by letting families choose the best school for their children. Last Congress, the House passed the Student Success Act to support school choice, innovation, and excellence in education. And last year, the House passed the Success and Opportunity for Charter Schools Act so that successful innovative public charter schools can continue to be replicated and grow. It’s all a part of the House’s continued agenda to expand freedom, opportunity, and accountability for the American people. 

Chairman Kline:

Countless students have escaped failing schools and received a quality education because parents were empowered to do what’s best for their child’s education. It is time to extend to more families the promise of school choice. The House will soon begin taking steps to reform the nation’s K-12 education system, and providing parents access to more educational opportunities will be a leading priority. Let’s celebrate school choice, and let us continue the work of improving education for America’s children.

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VIDEO RELEASE: Kline Urges Congress to Strengthen Support for Youth Sex Trafficking Victims

Education & the Workforce Committee - Tue, 01/27/2015 - 12:00am
The House of Representatives is taking action this week to strengthen support for victims of youth sex trafficking. Congress has been debating a number of bipartisan proposals that would enhance existing aid for runaway and homeless youth and improve identification and assessment of child sex trafficking victims. House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) discussed the urgent need to fight this deplorable crime and support the victims and their families:
 

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As a father and grandfather, I find it difficult to imagine anything more terrifying than a loved one falling victim to youth sex trafficking. Yet each year, hundreds of thousands of children and families are forced to live with the pain and suffering that stems from this deplorable crime.
 
Mr. Speaker, let me be clear: this crime is taking place right here in our own country; it is impacting our communities, our families, and our children. We face a national crisis and it demands a national response. Fortunately, there are heroic efforts underway to fight this heinous crime, care for the victims, and support their families.

Congress has an opportunity to address these challenges and strengthen our support for victims of youth sex trafficking ... I am pleased that in the early days of the 114th Congress we are taking action to address youth sex trafficking. It reflects both the seriousness of this crime and our commitment to the victims and their families. I urge my colleagues to support these important legislative proposals. 


​To read Chairman Kline's full remarks, click here.

To watch a video of his remarks, click here

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Kline Statement: Legislation to Strengthen Support for Victims of Youth Sex Trafficking

Education & the Workforce Committee - Mon, 01/26/2015 - 12:00am

As a father and grandfather, I find it difficult to imagine anything more terrifying than a loved one falling victim to youth sex trafficking. Yet each year, hundreds of thousands of children and families are forced to live with the pain and suffering that stems from this deplorable crime.
 
Mr. Speaker, let me be clear: this crime is taking place right here in our own country; it is impacting our communities, our families, and our children. We face a national crisis and it demands a national response. Fortunately, there are heroic efforts underway to fight this heinous crime, care for the victims, and support their families.
 
The dedicated staff at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, or NCMEC, are on the front lines every day identifying victims, assisting law enforcement in the recovery of missing children, and returning children to their loved ones.
 
NCMEC is also partnering with schools and employers to enhance support for victims and their families. Parents with children in school are probably familiar with Lifetouch photography. Through its “SmileSafe Kids” initiative, Lifetouch is making it easier for parents and NCMEC to alert law enforcement of a missing child in order to accelerate the search and rescue.
 
NCMEC and others are always finding new ways to help and so should we, and that is why we are here today. We’ve learned too often victims fall through the cracks of states’ child welfare systems. Those who may be runaway or homeless youth do not have access to the full range of services they need. And believe it or not, due to a flaw in the law, there are times when children are treated as criminals rather than the victims of a violent crime.
 
Congress has an opportunity to address these challenges and strengthen our support for victims of youth sex trafficking. I want to thank my Republican and Democrat colleagues for working with us on this important effort, including the ranking member of the Education and the Workforce Committee, Congressman Bobby Scott, and Representatives Joe Heck, Karen Bass, and Joyce Beatty.
 
I am pleased that in the early days of the 114th Congress we are taking action to address youth sex trafficking. It reflects both the seriousness of this crime and our commitment to the victims and their families. I urge my colleagues to support these important legislative proposals.

Bipartisan Legislation Introduced to Strengthen Support for Victims of Youth Sex Trafficking

Education & the Workforce Committee - Thu, 01/22/2015 - 12:00am
A bipartisan group of House members today introduced legislation that would improve support for youth who are victims of sex trafficking. It is estimated that each year 300,000 children become victims of sex trafficking. Many of these children were once involved in a state child welfare system, yet their experience with sexual exploitation may go undetected. Led by Reps. Joe Heck (R-NV) and Karen Bass (D-CA), members are introducing bipartisan legislation that will enhance other support services for victims and improve the child welfare response to trafficking:
  • Enhancing Services for Runaway and Homeless Victims of Youth Trafficking Act of 2015. Introduced by Reps. Joe Heck (R-NV), along with House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN), Education and the Workforce Committee Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA), and Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI), the legislation (H.R.468) will improve support provided specifically to runaway and homeless youth who are victims of sex trafficking.
        
  • Strengthening the Child Welfare Response to Trafficking Act of 2015. Introduced by Reps. Karen Bass (D-CA), along with Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and other members, the legislation (H.R.469) will improve practices within state child welfare systems to identify and document sex trafficking victims.

The bipartisan leaders of this effort praised today’s action:

Chairman John Kline – “As a father and grandfather, there is no more terrifying thought than a loved one falling victim to human sex trafficking. Yet each year, hundreds of thousands of families are forced to endure the pain and suffering of this heinous crime. We have a moral obligation to do everything we can to stop it and support the victims. I am pleased to join my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in advancing that vital effort. ”

Ranking Member Bobby Scott – “The sad reality is that young people who have run away, who are homeless, or who have gone missing often fall prey to sexual exploitation and trafficking. Thankfully, we have federal services to help these youths, and this legislative package will strengthen those programs. These bills will ensure that child protective services, runaway and homeless youth programs, and missing and exploited children centers can better address the unique needs of young trafficking victims and help them recover from the ordeals they’ve faced.”

Congressman Joe Heck – "Anti-trafficking advocates in my district have told me we need to improve resources and support for youth trafficking victims. We can do that through the Enhancing Services for Runaway and Homeless Victims of Youth Trafficking Act of 2015. All of us have a moral obligation to support the victims of these heinous acts, especially our young people, who are among the most vulnerable and likely to become victims. Our bill helps ensure that those suffering from the trauma of these deplorable acts will have access to the care and support they need. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Committee on Education and the Workforce to once again pass this bill in the House.”

Congresswoman Karen Bass – “Children should never be treated as prostitutes; they are victims. And the men who abuse these children are not johns—they are child molesters. Helping sex trafficking victims is neither a Democratic nor Republican issue. Sex trafficking impacts every state and every city in our nation, and I am glad that members of Congress from across the country and political spectrum are working together to end it.”

The legislative proposals are part of a broader effort to support youth victims of sex trafficking. For example, legislation (H.R. 246) introduced by Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH)  would add the term “child sex trafficking” to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s CyberTipline reporting areas to reinforce that these children are victims, not criminals.

To learn more about the legislative proposals, click here.

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