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.
Spanning the length 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 with parents, school boards and local communities working together to make education decisions for our children.
More on my work on education issues:
There are approximately 49,000 students attending charter, parochial and private schools in the state of Colorado. While my two daughters both attended public schools and received a great education, I am a strong supporter of school choice and believe that parents should have options when it comes to the education and development of their kids.
Much of the Western United States is comprised of large expanses of tax exempt public lands. Because education dollars mostly come from revenues generated through property tax many rural schools in these regions are oftentimes underfunded.
I support programs like Secure Rural Schools and PILT that ensure rural areas get their fair share of education resources. I worked with my colleagues to extend both of these programs for 1 year with passage of H.R. 4348 which passed both Houses and was signed into law by the President on July 6, 2012.
Challenging economic times have necessitated budget cuts, leaving many states in desperate need of additional funding for k-12 and higher education. With this in mind, I introduced legislation to help states fund education by expanding responsible energy development and creating needed jobs. The Education and Energy Act will allow for a reliable source of educational funding in those states that choose to develop their domestic mineral resources under new leasing authority granted to the Secretary of the Interior. States with areas under new leasing authority will see a direct investment in educational funding for revenues collected.
Additionally, if the federal government receives revenues from domestic oil and gas development beyond that which was anticipated for a given year, those additional amounts will be apportioned for education funding as the states see fit.
The funding allocation system allows for state legislatures to determine how best to direct the funds so they can address the unique educational issues faced by their state. By allocating mineral development royalties for education, we can provide a much needed investment in the future of our country without the need to raise taxes or cut funding to other necessary services or programs, while having the added benefit of creating new jobs. H.R. 3235 favors local control rather than Washington directives for education policy. This is a win-win for our children, educators, higher education students, job seekers, and American families seeking affordable domestic energy.
Challenging economic times call for outside-the-box thinking, and I will continue to work to advance legislation to provide America’s youth with the education opportunities that they deserve.
I support local control for states, communities, parents and educators to make education decisions and craft custom lesson plans to meet individual needs and most effectively educate our children.
I am a cosponsor of H.R. 2514, the Academic Partnerships Lead Us to Success Act (A-PLUS). The A-PLUS Act allows states to opt out of burdensome one-size-fits-all federal mandates on curricula, and tailor custom lesson plans to best meet the needs of students. Under this Act, states would enter into a five-year performance agreement with the U.S. Secretary of Education in exchange for allowing each state more local control over their curriculum while still receiving federal funds.
To continue honoring treaty obligations between the Federal Government and the Native American Indians, I introduced the Native American Indian Education Act (H.R. 3040). The purpose of this legislation is to 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. Spending under this legislation is classified as discretionary, not mandatory, and it contains a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) approved offset so there is no increase in current Federal spending. Furthermore, this legislation does not remove or cut from any other existing education, tribal, or government program.
This legislation will allow the Federal Government to continue honoring its Native American Indian treaty obligations, and it will help save the Colorado taxpayers money. This legislation will ensure that our country’s pledge to Native American Indians is kept and without increasing federal spending in any way, will ultimately save Colorado taxpayers money, lifting the weight of a federal mandate from their shoulders. Reps. Gardner (R-CO), DeGette (D-CO), Perlmutter (D-CO), Coffman (R-CO), Lamborn (R-CO) and Polis (D-CO) are among the co-sponsors of the bill. Read more here.
- Western Caucus—I am committed to ensuring that local communities have more control of the education policy within their state. The unique characteristics that face many of the rural western communities will only be stifled by an across-the-board series of mandates issued by the Federal government in relation to education policy. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House of Representatives to ensure that this does not happen.