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

January 22, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) released the following statement after the Biden administration announced a plan to increase benefits under the Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) program by 15 percent. The program provides additional funding for struggling families with children who cannot access free or reduced-price school meals due to school closures.
January 19, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Education and Labor Committee Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) sent a letter to the Department of Education seeking an investigation into reports that a Florida public school district transmitted student records to the local sheriff’s office so that the sheriff’s office could develop a list of students “destined for a life of crime.” In the letter, Chairman Scott notes that the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) explicitly prohibits schools from disclosing student records to third parties without parental permission.
January 15, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Committee on Education and Labor Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) released the following statement after the incoming Biden administration released its proposal for a COVID-19 relief package, the American Rescue Plan. “President-elect Joe Biden’s COVID-19 rescue package is a clear sign that the incoming administration understands the urgent need to crush the virus, safely reopen schools, and provide immediate relief to workers and the American people. In response to the loss of lives and livelihoods to COVID-19, this proposal provides the resources our communities need to accelerate the distribution of vaccines and expand capacity for testing and tracing, which are the most urgent steps we must take to end the pandemic.
January 3, 2021 Page
The following websites provide planning tools for pursuing postsecondary education, including financial aid information and information on planning and developing skills for careers.
December 22, 2020 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03), Committee on Education and Labor, and Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Subcommittee on Appropriations, Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) released the following statement after the House voted to repeal Section 426 of the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA). The provision was first included in the Fiscal Year 2021 House Labor-HHS Bill and maintained in the final Omnibus Package. This action follows the elimination of two harmful and similar legacy riders in the Fiscal Year 2019 Labor-HHS Bill. “Segregated schools mean segregated opportunities. More than 66 years after the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education, we have yet to fulfill the promise of equity in education.
December 22, 2020 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Committee on Education and Labor Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) released the following statement after President-elect Biden nominated Dr. Miguel Cardona to lead the Department of Education. “I congratulate Dr. Miguel Cardona on his nomination to be the next Secretary of Education. Dr. Cardona has over two decades of experience serving in America’s public schools— first as an elementary school teacher and then as a school principal, assistant superintendent, and most recently as Connecticut’s Commissioner of Education.
December 22, 2020 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, led by Committee on Education and Labor Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03), Committee Democrats wrote in opposition to a Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposal to roll back nutrition standards that have significantly improved the nutritional quality of school meals. The proposal resurrects and expands a 2018 rule that was ultimately vacated by a district court. The Members note that under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, it is the responsibility of the Department to ensure that the food children are served in school is nutritious and in close alignment with the evidence-based Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs). However, the proposed rule fails to align with the DGAs by drastically altering nutrition standards.
December 21, 2020 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Robert C. “Bobby Scott (VA-03), the Chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor, released the following statement in response to the House passage of the Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) Omnibus spending package and coronavirus relief proposal. “Today, the House passed a bold spending package and coronavirus relief bill that reflects the priorities of House Democrats: Advancing equity in education, supporting America’s workers, and expanding access to affordable health care.
December 20, 2020 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, following the release of the Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) Omnibus bill text, Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03), Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Investment Chair Susan Davis (CA-53), and Subcommittee on Workforce Protections Chair Alma Adams (NC-12) celebrated the major Democratic priorities for higher education included in the spending bill. The bill expands the Pell Grant program, which will result in hundreds of thousands of students becoming newly eligible for Pell and millions of current recipients receiving larger awards. The bill also repeals the ban on Pell eligibility among incarcerated students and restores Pell Grant eligibility for students defrauded by their institutions.
December 16, 2020 Press Release
NEWPORT NEWS, VA – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) announced the winners of the annual Congressional App Challenge in Virginia’s Third Congressional District. Abdalla Elrahhal, a junior at Denbigh High School and New Horizons Regional Education Center, was selected as the winner. Elrahhal submitted “SpeedyCPR,” an app designed to call 911 while displaying video instructions and demonstrations for performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).