Education and Workforce Development
Education: Achieving and maintaining the highest standards in American education is key to our national competitiveness and to the success of individual Americans.
The United States is home to educational opportunities which have no equal throughout the world. Today's youth must not lose sight of the importance of a good education and should be encouraged to exercise the determination and perseverance required to make the most of the opportunities before them.
As a parent, grandparent and lifelong educator, I understand how important it is for North Carolinians to know that local teachers have the tools they need to help our children reach their potential. Education is not best when micro-managed at the federal level.
In recent years, we have taken a positive step forward in restoring local control of our nation’s public schools by passing the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). This historic legislation rolled back the federal footprint on K–12 education and put important decisions about education back where it should be – with parents, teachers and local leaders. The Every Student Succeeds Act was signed into law on December 5, 2015.
As the Chairwoman of the House Committee on Education & the Workforce, I support education proposals which return decision-making power and resource flexibility to the local level while keeping schools accountable for results to taxpayers, parents, and students.
Workforce Development: Presently, there are more than 6 million unfilled jobs in this country in a phenomenon known as the skills gap. These high-demand jobs remain vacant due to a critical shortage of skilled workers.
In answer to this challenge, the Committee on Education and the Workforce approved H.R. 2353, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, which went on to be unanimously passed by the House of Representatives on June 22, 2017. Just over a year later on July 31, 2018, President Trump signed this landmark legislation into law.
The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act is a true difference-maker for North Carolinians. The law makes crucial updates to our national workforce development by empowering state and local community leaders and improving alignment with in-demand jobs.
H.R. 2353 will help more Americans gain the skills and knowledge they need to enter the workforce and compete for good-paying, in-demand industry jobs. With strengthened community partnerships and increased access to innovative technical education programs, more North Carolinians will be able to pave the way to career success.
The need for solutions to help ease the challenge of college affordability is especially acute in today’s economy. So many recent graduates took out loans with an expectation that they would be able to find a job to pay off their debt, only now many find themselves struggling with un-or-underemployment.
Across the country, collective student loan debt has soared past one trillion dollars, and the mounting tab shows no signs of slowing. It is clear that postsecondary education is no longer meeting the needs and demands of today’s students and tomorrow’s workforce, and simply reauthorizing the aging Higher Education Act will not address these challenges.
On December 1, 2017, I introduced H.R. 4508, the Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act. The PROSPER Act will reform postsecondary education by promoting institutional innovation and student completion, simplifying and improving student aid, providing students and families with detailed information about institutions and programs, and strengthening accountability in postsecondary education.
Americans deserve a postsecondary education system that is affordable and prepares them for the workforce, and I will continue my work on behalf of students and families to reform our nation’s postsecondary education system.
H.R. 4508: Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act
H.R. 2353: Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act
If you would like any more information about this or any other issue, please don’t hesitate to contact me.