I believe firmly that education matters are best handled at the local and state levels, with parents, school boards and local communities working together to make education decisions for our children.
Comprising roughly half of the state of Colorado, the 3rd Congressional District is one of the most diverse regions in the nation. It includes Indian reservations, farming and ranching communities, urban areas, and rural mountain towns. Each of these communities has its own unique characteristics and education needs. Because of this, I believe firmly that education matters are best handled at the local and state levels.
Education in the 114th Congress:
- Elementary and Secondary Education Act Reauthorization: The president signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) into law on December 15, 2015. This law goes a long way towards returning the responsibility for student achievement to states, local school districts, and parents, while maintaining the standards needed to ensure the U.S. remains competition in the global economy. The ESSA eliminated more than 65 ineffective and duplicative programs and replaced them with a Local Academic Flexible Grant, which will provide states and school districts the flexibility they need to effectively improve student learning. The bill also eliminates the federal government’s ability to coerce states into adopting federal education standards, like Common Core.
- Rural Schools: The Secure Rural Schools program provides essential funding for rural school districts in Colorado that have been impacted by decreased timber harvesting on U.S. Forest Service lands. I have strongly advocated for the Secure Rural Schools program, asking House leadership to secure full funding for the program in the 114th Congress. Also, on April 16, 2015, the president signed into law a bill that extended the funding for the Secure Rural Schools program for two years.
- Native American Indian Education: I reintroduced the Native American Indian Education Act (H.R. 1089) in the 114th Congress to help ensure the federal government honors its treaty obligations with Native American Indians. H.R. 1089 would ensure that federal funding is provided to support and sustain the long-standing federal mandate requiring certain colleges and states to waive, in certain circumstances, tuition charges for Native American Indian students. The federal spending under this legislation is classified as discretionary, not mandatory, and it contains a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) approved offset, so there would be no increase in current federal spending levels if the bill were to be enacted. Further, the legislation does not make cuts to any other existing education, tribal, or government programs.