Education

Supporting the Path to College and Career

As the Chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor, Congressman Scott believes that if we are going to properly prepare our country's youth for their future, we must ensure that we are giving them the fundamental tools necessary to grow into skillful and productive members of the workforce, starting from the beginning of childhood.

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

Congressman Scott is a strong supporter of early childhood education.  Research shows that early childhood education during a child’s early, formative years is critical to a child's brain development. Early education can help a child succeed academically as well as develop soft skills, such as curiosity and a motivation to learn. Studies have also shown that children who participate in a high quality early childhood education program are less likely to become involved in the criminal justice system, or be involved in violence or illegal drugs in later life. That is why he is the lead sponsor of the Child Care for Working Families Act, a comprehensive early learning and child care bill to ensure affordable, high-quality child care for working middle class families and those living paycheck to paycheck. 

Education Sec. Duncan and Rep. Scott read to students.Congressman Scott is also a strong supporter of Head Start. 25 million pre-school aged children have benefited from Head Start programs nationwide. Head Start provides comprehensive education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to low-income children and their families. Congressman Scott opposed the Budget Control Act of 2011 because he understood that sequestration's automatic, across-the-board cuts would slash Head Start, forcing children out of the program and onto a waiting list.  

PRIMARY/SECONDARY EDUCATION

Congressman Scott understands that Congress must work together to ensure that our elementary and secondary schools are places where children can thrive and grow. All children, regardless of race, ethnicity, income, language, country of origin, or disability, need to start off on an equal playing field with the best education available. The U.S. currently struggles with an "achievement gap," certain groups of students - mainly minorities - fall far behind their higher-achieving peers. As long as the achievement gap exists, our children will be unable to reach their full potential.  Congressman Scott was one of the chief architects of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which was signed into law by President Obama in 2015. ESSA is a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and a replacement to the No Child Left Behind Act. 

ESSA lives up to the promises of Brown v. Board of Education and the intent of the original Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) by building on past reauthorizations of the law. ESSA puts in place assessment, accountability, and improvement systems that will close achievement gaps with evidence-based strategies that meet the unique needs of students and schools. Additionally the law requires meaningful state and local action in every school where students – or any subgroup of students – aren’t learning. It requires that any action taken to support school improvement is driven by student outcomes – and that poverty can't be used as an excuse for not stepping up to better serve students, while also supporting teachers and school leaders with resources and professional development opportunities that will prepare today’s learners for tomorrow’s workforce. As Chairman on the Education and Labor Committee, Congressman Scott is conducting rigorous oversight on the Department of Education ensuring they are properly implementing the law. 

COLLEGE AND CAREER

A strong investment in education is one of the most important ways in which we can help keep America’s workforce and economy strong for future generations. A good education can be the difference between the minimum wage job that barely keeps a person afloat and a job with a living wage and full benefits. In addition to increased earnings, individuals with higher levels of education are less likely to be unemployed, receive public assistance, work in unskilled jobs with little upward mobility, and become involved in the criminal justice system. For these reasons, an education past the high school level – whether community college, a four year college, vocational training or a trade or apprentice program – is important not only for earnings, but also for landing a good job that can support a worker and their family.

But the truth is that a high school degree alone just does not get you as far as it used to. In order to succeed today, both individually and as a nation, we need to be making greater investments in education. For many, the problem is still access to quality education. In a weak economy, it is particularly difficult for students to find ways to pay tuition. Many students apply for Financial Aid, which often consists of scholarships, loans and grants, including the well known Pell Grant. Unfortunately, for many students, the Pell Grant does not cover the full cost of tuition. 

Congressman Scott is focussed on reauthorizing the Higher Education Act and is determined to put forth bold policy solutions to make higher education work for all, focusing on three main areas: access, affordability, and completion. Attending a higher education institution should be fully accessible regardless of a student’s race, socioeconomic status, disability, or family circumstance. With higher education still out of reach for too many Americans, Committee Democrats are working to lift the burden of student loan debt, and are focused on solutions that help all students complete their degree or credential on time. Congressman Scott was the lead sponsor of the Aim Higher Act, a bill which ensures every student has a path to a debt-free degree or credential that leads to a rewarding career. 

SCHOOL SAFETY

In the wake of the tragic Newtown and Parkland mass shootings, Congressman Scott welcomes the national discussion about how to keep our schools and children safe. However, we must choose evidence-based solutions that have been been shown by research to improve school climate, reduce bullying and conflict, and foster student achievement.

Congressman Scott opposes the proposal to put armed guards and other law enforcement officers, such as school resource officers, in schools. Reports show that law enforcement officers frequently respond to student misbehavior by arresting the student and putting him or her in the juvenile justice system. Those reports also show that the children are less likely to be victims of crime if the school had hired more school counselors, instead of school resource officers (SROs). Research indicates that students who have contact with the criminal justice system are less likely to graduate and more likely to commit crimes as adults than students who are given in-school punishments, like detention. We must ensure that we are putting our nation's children on a school-to-college-and-career pipeline, not a school-to-prison pipeline.

More on Education

October 15, 2021 Press Release
NEWPORT NEWS, VA – On Monday, October 18th, Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) will host a webinar on financial aid for students and parents. He will be joined by a panel of experts from the Access College Foundation to answer any-and-all questions students and parents may have about the federal financial aid process and other available resources. All federal student aid, including Pell Grants, requires students and families to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.
October 6, 2021 Press Release
NEWPORT NEWS, VA – According to a new analysis released today by the House Committee on Education and Labor, the Build Back Better Act could save Virginia families thousands of dollars in child care costs each year. The Committee’s report found that the typical Virginia family of four with one infant in full-time center-based child care would save $12,680 each year. The typical Virginia family of four with one infant and one child in full-time center-based child care would save $24,280 each year. “This is why we need to pass the Build Back Better Act,” said Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), the Chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor. “For too long, the exorbitant cost of child care has strained family budgets and pushed millions of Americans out of the workforce, particularly women.
September 29, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last night, Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), the Chairman for the House Committee on Education and Labor, was selected by the Committee for Education Funding (CEF) to receive the 2021 James O’Hara Award in recognition of his “life-long commitment and outstanding leadership in advocating for education as a congressional and federal priority.” CEF is a non-partisan and nonprofit coalition of more than 100 education associations, institutions, and others who advocate for greater federal investment in education.
September 20, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement on the shooting at Heritage High School in Newport News: “My thoughts are with all the victims, their loved ones, and the entire community at Heritage High School. And I want to commend the Newport News Police Department for their response. While the news crews will eventually leave the scene, many of the students and faculty will carry this event with them for the rest of their lives. It is a cruel irony that schools have only just returned to the classroom for full-time instruction since the start of the pandemic and we are already grappling with another act of senseless of gun violence.
September 9, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Education and Labor Committee Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) delivered the following opening statement at today’s markup for Build Back Better Act. “Last month, the House passed a budget resolution for Fiscal 2022, which instructed 13 House Committees to write a proposal that would deliver a $3.5 trillion investment that will transform our economy in ways that will make our nation more prosperous, equitable and fairer. Today, we are marking up the Education and Labor Committee’s portion of the Build Back Better Act, which makes historic and long-overdue investments in students, workers, families, and our economy.
August 26, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the Biden-Harris Administration announced that it will make $1.1 billion in closed school discharges available to an additional 115,000 borrowers who attended the now-defunct ITT Technical Institute (ITT). “I applaud President Biden and Secretary Cardona for extending student loan relief to 115,000 student borrowers who were defrauded by ITT Technical Institute. Numerous investigations into ITT’s conduct have uncovered a pattern of predatory and deceptive practices that tricked students into taking on debt they could not afford to attend schools that were on the brink of collapse.
August 24, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the House of Representatives voted to advance the Build Back Better Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill. “The House of Representatives has taken an important step toward delivering on President Biden’s plan to lower costs for families, create good-paying jobs for workers, and invest in the health and well-being of the American people. Today’s vote advances the bipartisan infrastructure bill that will create millions of new jobs while simultaneously unlocking the potential for Congress to make historic investments in our future. It is a step closer to affordable child care, universal pre-K, and more funding to fight child hunger.
August 24, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the Biden-Harris administration announced that it is replacing the Trump-era formula for determining student debt relief for defrauded borrowers. Multiple independent analyses found that the Trump formula was “nonsensical and harmful to students.” “I applaud President Biden and Secretary Cardona for restoring access to debt relief for students who were defrauded by predatory colleges. The previous administration’s formula for determining debt relief was deeply flawed both in its use of statistics and the unfair outcomes it produced for borrowers.
August 19, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) released the following statement after the Department of Education announced a policy change that will provide 323,000 borrowers who have a total and permanent disability (TPD) with more than $5.8 billion in automatic student loan discharges. The changes announced today will also make it easier for eligible students to access the relief that they are legally entitled to receive under the TPD program. “I applaud the Biden Administration for once again using its authority to provide desperately needed relief to student loan borrowers and their families.
August 19, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC - Today, House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement in response to eight states banning schools from implementing mandatory mask policies to protect students, educators, and families from COVID-19.  “As we begin another school year under the cloud of a pandemic, policymakers must be laser-focused on helping school districts reopen safely and stay open safely. Through the American Rescue Plan, Congress and President Biden delivered an historic $130 billion investment in K-12 education to help ensure school districts have the resources they need to safely return to in-person instruction.