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Congressman Andre Carson

Representing the 7th District of INDIANA

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Education

BUILDING A FOUNDATION THROUGH EARLY CHILDHOOD, ELEMENTARY, AND SECONDARY EDUCATION

MAKING SURE OUR STUDENTS ARE PREPARED TO SUCCEED

Making sure that our children receive a good education is the most important thing we can do as a country. All students should have the opportunity to succeed, no matter their background. I am heartened by the continued increases in our nation’s graduation rates, including in Marion County. Unfortunately, too many students and neighborhoods remain behind, and not all schools showed such positive results. As a Member of Congress, I am committed to supporting efforts that provide assistance and supports so that all students have an equal chance to receive a quality education and are encouraged to stay in school.

These gaps are inexcusable. We have a responsibility to fight this achievement gap, and cannot continue to accept the huge disparities in educational attainment by race and socioeconomic status. In 2015, members of Congress in both parties came together to replace No Child Left Behind, which made important strides but ultimately did not work for students, teachers, schools, or parents. That replacement, the Every Student Succeeds Act, is a step forward, but I will be closing watching how Indiana and the federal government implement it. We have a responsibility to our children to hold schools and districts accountable so that all children—no matter what their background—have a real shot.

 I am encouraging my colleagues in Congress to support innovation in education by recognizing the value of early childhood education, encouraging schools to address the specialized learning needs of many students with creative teaching methods and innovative practices, and fully funding professional development for educators. In order to succeed in preparing young people for college and career, we need to promote collaboration between educators, parents and community leaders to close achievement gaps and prepare all students for a successful future. Above all, the students need to have a safe and healthy environment to learn. Rest assured, as Congress discusses these issues, I will continue to advocate for terminating unsuccessful policies and supporting those that benefit, and improve our public schools.

PROTECTING TEACHERS AND IMPROVING TEACHER QUALITY

Teachers are one of our most valuable resources and are critical to the success of future generations of Americans. It is important that our public education system continue to attract good teachers by rewarding those teachers who have dedicated themselves to the successful preparation of their students.

Adjusted for inflation, Indiana has had the country’s largest drop in teacher-pay since 2000, a 16% drop. Indiana also has a significant teacher shortage: enrollment in teaching programs and those graduating with teaching degrees declined 37% from 2004 through 2014.  I strongly support additional funds to improve teacher quality and training, salaries that will enable us to address teacher shortages and programs to modernize the teaching workforce.  One of the barriers facing teachers is that it is often impossible to work in the state of their choosing due to licensure rules, which is why I have introduced the Interstate Teaching Mobility Act, which would create an interstate teacher licensure process, setting a high bar but giving teachers the flexibility they deserve. Supporting teachers is an important way we can raise student achievement.

INCREASED FUNDING FOR YOUTH MENTORSHIP PROGRAMS

The hours between 3 p.m. – 7 p.m., when children are out of school but parents are not yet home from work, can be the most important time of day. Mentoring and after-school programs can play an important role in filling this gap, but unfortunately, too few at-risk students have the opportunity to participate in these programs. Afterschool and mentoring programs have been shown to improve educational outcomes, reduced negative behavior, increase school attendance, and improve social and emotional development.  I have had the privilege of visiting many successful mentoring programs located throughout the Seventh Congressional District, and I have seen firsthand the positive impact it has had on the lives of young people. Congress must increase funding for these important programs. I have also introduced two bills, the Transition to Success Modernization Act and the Students Helping Students Act, to give students the access to mentors and afterschool programs—which have proven success at engaging students.

 

EXPANDING AFFORDABLE HIGHER EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES

Students, colleges, and universities today face new challenges and opportunities, but in our changing job market, a college degree is more valuable than ever. Higher education access and affordability are synonymous with educational opportunity.

The ever increasing cost of tuition is putting higher education out of reach for far too many Americans. The average college graduate owes over $37,000 in student loan debt. For young students graduating from high school and older Americans who are already in the workforce and looking to enhance their career skills, higher education is essential in preparing for jobs in an increasingly competitive global market. I have cosponsored measures to make college more affordable, like expanding Pell grants and extending the Perkins loan program, and there is much more to doto address the issues of college cost, general access, and quality.

In addition to addressing costs, maintaining and expanding protections for students and borrowers is also critical. Students deserve a meaningful degree. I also believe future students need the best possible information to make informed decisions about their futures, which is why I have introduced the Higher Education and Employment Transparency Act, which makes sure that students have access to that information, and support similar efforts to give students the tools to make informed choices.          

Here is a list of helpful resources for families seeking information about federal financial aid programs:

·         https://studentaid.ed.gov/

·          https://www.fafsa.ed.gov/

·         https://www.consumerfinance.gov/paying-for-college/

·         https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/

·          https://collegecost.ed.gov/

·          For students effected by school closures, including ITT Technical Institutes: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/closed-school

·          For GI Bill Beneficiaries https://benefits.va.gov/gibill/

More on Education

Jan 12, 2015

 

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Dear Friend,

Sep 23, 2014

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Dear Friend,

As students and parents discuss their plans for this academic year, I want to tell you about a unique educational opportunity to develop physically, ethically and intellectually while building a foundation for a rewarding and challenging career while serving our country.

Sep 18, 2014

Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Department of Education announced that Metropolitan School District in Pike Township was awarded nearly $1 million dollars over the course of the next five years to help prevent violence and reduce negative student behavior. The money is part of the Project Prevent grant program, a program aimed at expanding the capacity of local education agencies to more effectively assist affected schools in communities exposed to violence.

Sep 20, 2012

September 20, 2012

Congressman Carson Focuses in on Higher Education, Introduces Legislation and Announces New Congressional Caucus

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman André Carson (IN-7) today zoned in on issues of higher education, introducing legislation that would clarify college employment placement statistics and announcing the creation of the Congressional Higher Education Caucus to encourage more intentional assessment of higher education challenges in America.

Feb 4, 2011

February 4, 2011

JULIA M. CARSON LEARNING CENTER OPENS AT IVY TECH COMMUNITY COLLEGE

INDIANAPOLIS- Congressman André Carson today joined leaders from Ivy Tech Community College for a dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony for the official opening of the Julia M. Carson Learning Resource Center at its downtown campus.