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.
- School Choice
- Resources for Education
- Local Control
- Treaty Obligations
- Increased Transparency and Opportunity
More on my work on education issues:
There are over 96,000 students attending charter 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 have fought to extend both of these programs in the past and will continue to work with my Western colleagues to ensure that commitments made to rural communities are honored, and that our counties have the certainty needed to plan their budgets and serve their communities.
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 would 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. The Education and Energy Act 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.
Charter schools, like those here in the 3rd Congressional District, have provided parents with more options, and allowed teachers to be more innovative in the classroom to ensure students are reaching their full potential. I’m proud to have voted to expand this opportunity to more parents by encouraging states to develop new public charter school programs, and replicate and expand successful programs. The Success and Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Act, which passed the House in the 113th Congress, reauthorizes funding for the Department of Education’s Office of Charter Schools Program under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), and ensures states are able to continue using these funds to start, replicate or expand quality, effective charter schools. Further, this legislation will amend ESEA to allow proven education programs to apply for competitive grants with the Department of Education and encourages the Secretary of Education to disseminate best practices to ensure all public schools may benefit from charter schools’ success.
I am also a supporter of H.R. 2456, the Academic Partnerships Lead Us to Success Act (A-PLUS) introduced by Rep. Rob Bishop (R-CO). 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.
The number one goal of our nation’s education system must be to ensure students are receiving the highest quality education that allows them to reach their full potential. These bills take positive steps to improving our nation’s education system and providing children with the quality education they deserve, and I will continue to work to advance policies that allow for education programs to be developed and implemented at the local level by parents, teachers and those closest to the students.
To continue honoring treaty obligations between the Federal Government and the Native American Indians, I introduced the Native American Indian Education Act. 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. Read more here.
Deciding to go to college, choosing a program, and figuring out how to pay for it are among the most important decisions a young person can make, and for most, the decisions will have a lasting impact on their lives for many years. The House passed legislation to promote innovative competency-based learning, and provide students and parents with information needed to make sound decisions on academic programs and tuition financing options.
The Strengthening Transparency in Higher Education Act (H.R. 4983) seeks to streamline and improve existing federal transparency efforts to reduce duplication and confusion, and provide more accurate information to students on higher education consumer information including student success rates and total cost of programs. The Empowering Students through Enhanced Financial Counseling Act (H.R. 4984) would promote financial literacy and ensure that students have a complete picture of the loan, aid and grant programs available to them to finance their tuition and make sound financial decisions.
This legislation will empower students and their parents to make the best possible decision by ensuring that they have access to clear and accurate information on total costs of the program from start to finish and the best financing options available to meet the needs of their unique situation. With this information in hand, students will be in a much better position to choose the program that works best for them, and repay their student loans. Given the tough economy and competitive jobs market, every advantage that a student has available to them, from when they first enter college to when they graduate, is important to their overall success.
The House also passed legislation that seeks to provide higher education institutions with greater flexibility to better meet the educational needs of individual students. The Advancing Competency-Based Education Demonstration Project Act (H.R. 3136) would allow higher learning institutions to measure students’ learning based on their competency with the subject matter, rather than solely on the amount of time they spend in the classroom (credit hours).
In January, 2014, I joined with my Colorado colleagues in a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Education asking that he join them in support of this concept at the Colorado State University-Global Campus (CSU-Global).
In the letter we wrote:
“CSU-Global’s proposal will utilize Credit by Exam (CBE) and Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) programs to decrease students’ time to completion and the cost of a degree, while also allowing students who demonstrate competencies based on their professional experience and non-collegiate learning to obtain credit for their learning…We urge you to support CSU-Global’s application to be an experimental site and would welcome an opportunity to work with you on this endeavor.”
See the full letter 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.
- Grand Junction Daily Sentinel Editorial: Gas money for schools
- Durango Herald: Tipton seeks money for tuition
- KRDO News 13: Tipton introduces education legislation
- Craig Daily Press: Colorado lawmakers push for PILT funding
- Durango Herald: Reality business 101
- Vail Daily Press: Rep. Scott Tipton visits Gypsum’s Stone Creek Charter
- KREX Channel 5: Congressman Tipton Tours Math and Science Center