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

July 31, 2020 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), the Chairman of the Committee on the Education and Labor, applauded the House of Representatives for passing H.R. 7617, the Defense, Commerce, Justice, Science, Energy and Water Development, Financial Services and General Government, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Act for 2021.
July 31, 2020 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) released the following statement calling for the extension of the Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) program, which provides additional funding for struggling families with children who cannot access free or reduced-price school meals due to school closures. Yesterday, a Brookings Institution study found that P-EBT, which Congress passed under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, prevented at least 2.7 million children from going hungry in the week after states issued benefits, reducing child hunger by 30 percent. Benefits will expire in most states in August.
July 30, 2020 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, House Committee on Education and Labor Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) introduced legislation to make all students eligible for free school meals during the 2020-2021 school year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Pandemic Child Hunger Prevention Act would allow all children to access breakfast, lunch, and afterschool snack programs either in school or through “grab and go” and delivery options.
July 29, 2020 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03), delivered the following remarks on the House floor on the Child Care is Essential Act, a proposal that would invest $50 billion in helping child care providers reopen and reducing the cost of child care for working families. “Thank you, Madam Speaker, and thank you to my colleague and friend, Congresswoman DeLauro, for her work in support of children, families, and child care providers.
July 28, 2020 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-VA), House Education and Labor Committee, and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA), Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee released the following statement on the Republican proposal to condition K-12 funds by requiring schools to operate in-person, and directing federal funding to unaccountable private schools. “Democrats want schools to re-open for in-person learning if it can be done safely—but the partisan Republican proposal would put students, educators, and communities at risk by taking a one-size fits all approach and pushing school districts to ignore local public health officials.
July 26, 2020 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC– Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) released the following video message on the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. "The Americans with Disabilities Act was enacted on the basic principle that all people in this country have the right to full participation in their communities. The ADA broke barriers to accessing public spaces, established basic civil rights protections, and opened equal employment and educational opportunities for people with disabilities.
July 24, 2020 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03), chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor, Congressmen José E. Serrano (NY-15), chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Congressman Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary, released a groundbreaking U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report entitled “K-12 Education: School Districts Need Better Information to Help Improve Access for People with Disabilities.”
July 22, 2020 In The News
NORFOLK, Va. — Via video call, Congressman Bobby Scott (D-Va.) sat down with school principals from across the district he represents to discuss how school instruction will safely proceed in the fall during the COVID-19 pandemic. Congressman Scott represents Newport News and Portsmouth as well as parts of Norfolk, Chesapeake, Hampton and Suffolk.
July 21, 2020 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Tomorrow, July 22nd, Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), the chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor, will host a virtual roundtable with school principals from Virginia’s Third Congressional District. The purpose of this roundtable will be to discuss and listen to concerns about what schools need to safely re-open. The COVID-19 pandemic has placed a significant strain on our education system as states and localities are working tirelessly to maintain access to education in a way that does not endanger students, school staff, and their families. This roundtable follows last week’s roundtable, where Congressman Scott spoke with school teachers from across Virginia’s Third Congressional District. As the Chair of the House Committee on Education and Labor, Congressman Scott has been a key leader in the House passage of two proposals, the Heroes Act and the Moving Forward Act, which would deliver more than $200 billion to help schools re-open safely.
July 17, 2020 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) released the following statement after the Trump administration blocked the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention from testifying at public hearing about safely reopening schools. “School reopening plans must be guided by the advice of public health experts. For that reason, we asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to testify in a public hearing to provide greater clarity on the steps we can take to help schools reopen safely.