Investing in Education
We must prepare students for the 21st century economy, beginning with quality investment in early childhood and continuing into postsecondary education. As the mother of two sons, I am acutely aware that the high cost of education is one of the biggest problems facing young people and their families. In order to address rising education costs, we must continue to maintain low interest rates for federal student loans and protect funding for Pell Grants. While Congress needs to cut spending, our nation must not reduce its budget deficit on the backs of America's students.
Education and innovation are vital engines of a successful economy and every child should have the opportunity to receive high quality education. In 2015, the House and Senate passed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), a bipartisan reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) that moves us beyond No Child Left Behind. Since arriving in Congress, I have consistently advocated for an education system that meets the needs of all students, addresses inequality, and empowers parents, teachers, and school leaders—those who know students best—to be active participants in educational decision making. ESSA takes significant steps in this direction, and I look forward to continuing to hear from Granite State students, parents, and educators as these important reforms are implemented.
To meet the challenges of the 21st century economy, our students must also have opportunities to learn practical skills, especially in the science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) fields. I am committed to finding bipartisan solutions that will strengthen US leadership in science research, support career and technical education, foster innovation in our workforce, and help create good, middle class jobs through investments in education.
That is why I am taking the following steps to better prepare our students and workers for jobs in the 21st century economy:
- Encouraging Public-Private Partnerships: To help improve workforce readiness, I introduced the Workforce Development Investment Act (H.R. 3362), a bill that would provide tax incentives to businesses that partner with community colleges and other educational institutions to improve job training for students. I am also a member of the Career and Technical Education Caucus, and am committed to exploring ways in which employers and educational institutions can work together to create job opportunities
- Keeping Higher Education Affordable. I am committed to protecting our students and middle class families from the rising cost of college and student loan interest rates. To keep quality education within reach for middle class families, I cosponsored the Student Loan Repayment Assistance Act (H.R. 1713), which would incentivize employer development of student loan repayment assistance plans. In addition, I cosponsored the Creating Higher Education Affordability to Compete Economically (CHANCE) Act (H.R. 5310), legislation that would expand Pell Grant eligibility and increase the maximum Pell award, among other changes. As a proud member of the Congressional TRIO Caucus, I have also advocated for robust funding for TRIO, which serves low-income, first-generation, and disabled students. I have also supported the Perkins Loan program, which provides low-interest loans to students, and Pell Grants. In addition, I was pleased that the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which provides a tax credit toward the cost of a student’s tuition in exchange for 100 hours of community service, was recently made permanent. By making this credit permanent, as I had advocated, we have taken an important step in improving college access and affordability.
- Investing in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education. I am committed to improving the quality of education, especially science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs. As a member of the Congressional Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) Caucus, I have worked with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to promote STEM education. I was proud to cosponsor H.R. 2224, the Youth Access to American Jobs Act, which would promote apprenticeships in the STEM field; and H. Res. 554, which honors the goals of Computer Science Education Week.
- Prioritizing Early Childhood Education. Studies have overwhelmingly shown that investment in quality early childhood education and care pays dividends later on, which is why I have supported robust funding for Child Care and Development Block Grants and for preschool development grants. I was also proud to introduce the Early STEM Achievement Act (H.R. 6188), which would create a competitive grant program with the Department of Education to assist early childhood STEM programs and train educators to teach STEM subjects, helping prepare children for the workforce of tomorrow.
To improve access to education for New Hampshire students, I am member of the STEM Caucus, the Higher Education Caucus, the Career Technical Education Caucus, and the Congressional TRIO Caucus.
More on Investing in Education
(Washington, DC) – Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) released the following statement on the preliminary budget proposal released by President Trump for Fiscal Year 2018:
(Concord, NH) – Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) released the following statement on UNH’s new tuition-free program for full-time New Hampshire students:
(Concord, NH) – This morning, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) introduced legislation aimed at increasing STEM learning in early education during a visit to the Child and Family Development Center at NHTI-Concord’s Community College. The legislation will establish a competitive grant program under the jurisdiction of the Department of Education to provide assistance for early childhood STEM programs and teacher training that meet certain requirements.
(Washington, DC) – Today, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) reacted with concern to reports that President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to head the Department of Education, Betsy DeVos, has given thousands of dollars in donations to a group that advocates increasing the burden of proof for survivors of sexual assault.
(Washington, DC) – Today, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) introduced legislation to provide new resources for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects in early childhood education. The Early STEM Achievement Act would create a competitive grant program within the Department of Education to assist early childhood STEM programs and train educators to teach STEM subjects, helping prepare children for the workforce of tomorrow.
(Washington, DC) – Today, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) took to the House floor to honor the incredible courage and strength of Chessy Prout, who was sexually assaulted by an upperclassman at her boarding school when she was 15 years old. Last month, Chessy, now 17, went public on the TODAY Show with her story to bring to light the pervasive issue of sexual assault, and to let other victims know they are not alone.
Peterborough, NH – This morning, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) hosted a forum at ConVal Regional High School with students, administrators, and community members to discuss the importance of increasing college affordability. The forum gave students and parents a chance to engage with a panel of key stakeholders in the higher education arena, and discuss initiatives aimed at increasing access and reducing the costs of postsecondary education.