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.


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.  


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. 


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. 


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

April 15, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Earlier today, Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 14th Excellence in Virginia Government Awards hosted by the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). “I was honored to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the L. Douglas Wilder School at VCU,” said Congressman Scott. “Many people often highlight that I was the first African-American to serve in Congress from the Commonwealth since Reconstruction, but I like to remind them that I achieved that on the day I was sworn in.
April 6, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) released the following statement after the Department of Education announced it is conducting a comprehensive review of the Title IX rule established under the Trump Administration. “Providing students an environment where they are safe and free from discrimination is the most basic responsibility of schools and institutions. It is the foundation that gives all students the opportunity to learn and grow. Unfortunately, the Title IX rule established under the previous Administration eroded key protections for students, weakened accountability for schools, and created widespread disruption for institutions struggling to cope with the impact of the pandemic.
March 31, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) released the following statement after President Biden released his American Jobs Plan. “President Biden’s American Jobs Plan outlines a bold vision for creating millions of good-paying jobs and protecting the health and well-being of our children, workers, and communities. The Biden Plan will get struggling Americans back to work by making unprecedented and long-overdue investments in programs that are proven to help workers develop in-demand skills that prepare them for rewarding careers.
March 30, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the Department of Education announced it will pause collections and interest accrual on commercially-held student loans under the Family Federal Education Loan Program (c-FFEL) for borrowers who are in default. “Today, the Biden administration took another step to expand relief for struggling student loan borrowers amid the COVID-19 pandemic. While Congress previously paused interest accrual and collections for distressed borrowers with federally held loans, these provisions did not cover borrowers with commercially-held loans under the Family Federal Education Loan Program (c-FFEL).
March 25, 2021 Press Release
Congressman Bobby Scott will be hosting another Telephone Town Hall to discuss the American Rescue Plan passed by Congress and signed into law by President Biden. The town hall will take place on Monday, March 29th at 7:00 p.m. The purpose of this town hall will be to discuss how the American Rescue Plan will help end the COVID-19 pandemic and rebuild our economy by safely re-opening schools, ramping up vaccinations, putting money in people’s pockets and putting people back in jobs. Congressman Scott will also be joined by Dr. Danny Avula who is the coordinator for Virginia’s vaccine distribution.
March 18, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) released the following statement after the Department of Education announced it would provide full debt relief to roughly 72,000 borrowers that were defrauded by Corinthian Colleges and ITT Technical Institute. “Today’s announcement means that tens of thousands of defrauded student loan borrowers will finally be granted the debt relief that they are legally entitled to receive. It has been more than four years since the Department of Education first concluded that these students had been cheated by their institutions and were deserving of full debt relief.
March 10, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) released the following statement after the House voted to approve the American Rescue Plan, which provides nearly $40 billion for institutions of higher education. “The COVID-19 pandemic is causing severe financial hardship for institutions of higher education and the students they serve. The American Rescue Plan provides significant relief to help colleges weather the pandemic, including more than $800 million for Virginia institutions alone, and delivers emergency support to students facing food insecurity, homelessness, and other hardships.
March 10, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 1319, the American Rescue Plan, which invests nearly $130 billion in K-12 education. “The American Rescue Plan is the most significant investment in K-12 education in generations. This relief package will provide schools the resources they need to comply with CDC guidelines, protect students and staff, and make up for lost time in the classroom. Throughout the past year, school leaders have been calling on Congress to help address the unprecedented challenges facing students, parents, educators and communities. The American Rescue Plan is evidence that we were listening.
March 3, 2021 Press Release
NEWPORT NEWS, VA – On Friday, March 5th, Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), the Chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor, will host a virtual roundtable with superintendents from across Hampton Roads to discuss the funding for K-12 schools included in the House-passed version of the American Rescue Plan. The roundtable will focus on how President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act will help schools safely bring students and school staff back into the classroom and make up for lost learning time. Last week, the House of Representatives passed the American Rescue Plan, which will help schools re-open safely, ramp up vaccination efforts, and provide additional direct cash payments to working families.
February 27, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 1319, the American Rescue Plan, which provides urgent COVID-19 relief for students, workers, and families.“Today, the House of Representatives took a monumental step towards defeating the COVID-19 pandemic and creating a strong and shared recovery for our communities. The American Rescue Plan provides schools with the resources they need to re-open safely, protect students and staff, and make up for lost time in the classroom.