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 14, 2020 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Committee on Education and Labor Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) and Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Chairman Gregorio Kilili Sablan (Mariana Islands) issued the following statement after the Government Accountability Office released a report finding that the COVID-19 pandemic has hampered and worsened K-12 schools’ recovery from recent natural disasters across the country.
October 12, 2020 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) released the following statement regarding the White House’s latest coronavirus relief offer. “The erratic behavior coming from the White House this week is a perfect example of why it has been so difficult to negotiate relief for the American people. The Trump administration fundamentally does not grasp the urgency or scale of this crisis. And the latest proposal — which falls woefully short of providing meaningful relief for students, workers, and families — is further evidence that this White House does not have a comprehensive plan to defeat the virus.
October 6, 2020 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott released the following statement after President Trump announced he is walking away from negotiations on any further coronavirus relief until after the 2020 election. “President Trump’s unwillingness to continue negotiations to provide much needed relief to the American people is just another example of this administration needlessly playing politics with the lives of students, workers, and families.
October 5, 2020 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Committee on Education and Labor Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) and Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis Chairman James E. Clyburn (SC-06) sent a letter to Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos expressing deep concern regarding South Carolina’s misuse of CARES Act education funds to develop a voucher program.
October 1, 2020 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott released the following statement after the House voted to pass an updated version of the Heroes Act. “House Democrats first passed the Heroes Act over four months ago because we have the responsibility to help our constituents recover from this global health emergency. Since then, the need has only grown. State and local governments are still facing massive budget shortfalls, and without federal support, these shortfalls will slash public education funding and other critical public services.
September 26, 2020 Press Release
NEWPORT NEWS, VA – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after President Trump nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to be an Associate Justice to the Supreme Court: “In 2016, Senate Republicans made a sanctimonious production out of not filling Supreme Court vacancies in an election year when there were over ten months remaining in President Obama’s second term. As people are already voting, Senate Republicans are violating their own established principle without any concern for hypocrisy or fundamental fairness.
September 25, 2020 Press Release
NEWPORT NEWS, VA – On Monday, September 28th, Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), the Chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor, will visit a school meal distribution site for Hampton City Schools. This visit comes after House Democrats negotiated a government funding bill that extended and expanded the Pandemic EBT program, which prevented at least 2.7 million children from going hungry in the first week after it was implemented last spring.
September 23, 2020 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – In a letter to Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Committee on Education and Labor Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) called on the Department to reinstate critical Obama-era school discipline guidance, which was established in response to the disproportionate impact of school discipline practices on students of color and students with disabilities. In the letter, Chairman Scott notes that the Department’s decision to rescind the discipline guidance failed to rely on facts or data.
September 22, 2020 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) released the following statement in response to the final text of the Continuing Resolution, which extended and expanded key child nutrition measures. “The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered several parallel crises for communities and industries across this country, but few are as urgent as the current child hunger crisis. Despite the two substantial COVID-19 relief packages that Congress passed in the early weeks of the pandemic, as many as 17 million children went hungry this summer.
September 3, 2020 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Reps. Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11), Chair of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Nutrition, Oversight and Department Operations, and Bobby Scott (VA-3), Chair of the Education and Labor Committee, sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue requesting immediate action to correct the Department’s recent Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) program guidelines. The Members expressed concern the Department’s guidance is misleading and includes requirements that will result in limited access to the program.