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) – This week, Reps. Annie Kuster (D-NH), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Alma S. Adams (D-NC) reintroduced the Hold Accountable and Lend Transparency (HALT) on Campus Sexual Violence Act, a bipartisan bill with 32 cosponsors. The Act will strengthen prevention efforts and the enforcement of laws to eradicate the epidemic of campus sexual violence and hold perpetrators accountable.
(Washington, DC) – Today, Representatives Annie Kuster (D-NH), Tim Burchett (R-TN), Kim Schrier, MD (D-WA), Fred Upton (R-MI), and Harley Rouda (D-CA) introduced H.R. 3334, the Expanding Access to Graduate Education Act, which would allow students who received a Pell Grant during their undergraduate education to utilize their remaining Pell eligibility towards their first graduate degree.
MILFORD – U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster, D-N.H., would certainly never discourage anyone from pursuing a bachelor’s degree.
Still, during her Tuesday visit to Milford High School, Kuster acknowledged that four-year degrees are likely not the best path for everyone.
Our First 100 Days
(Washington, DC) – Today, Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02) helped introduce the Keep Our Promise to America’s Children and Teachers (PACT) Act. This bill would create a 10-year fiscally-responsible path for Congress to fulfill its obligation to fund Title I and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) on a mandatory basis. Rep. Kuster is an original co-sponsor of this legislation.
NASHUA – “You are worthy of all of the things that you strive for exactly as you are, so don’t buy into the myth that only kids who talk or dress or act a certain way are worthy of respect, worthy of an education or worthy of a chance at success. All people deserve to have those things,” Josefine Garcia told a group of nearly 600 students Friday during New England Educational Opportunity Association’s TRIO Day.
Hearing from Granite Staters
On Wednesday evening, I held a town hall meeting at the Plymouth Senior Center to discuss my work in Congress and take questions from Granite Staters. I appreciate everyone who took the time to come out and share their perspective with me. The insights of people throughout New Hampshire’s Second Congressional District are critical as I continue working to combat the opioid epidemic, lower the costs of healthcare and prescription drugs, and fight for New Hampshire priorities.
Washington, D.C. - With the longest shutdown in American history behind us, Congressman Chris Pappas and Congresswoman Annie Kuster are urging Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to implement new guidelines at the Department of Education (DOE) to protect federal workers who are unable to make student loan payments in the event of future government shutdowns.
(Washington, DC) – The New Hampshire Congressional delegation introduced bicameral bills that would create a commemorative coin to honor Christa McAuliffe and reaffirm Congress’ commitment to invest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education. The Christa McAuliffe Commemorative Coin Act of 2019 would create a $1 coin honoring the Concord educator who died aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986, with proceeds going toward the FIRST Robotics program which was founded by Manchester-based inventor Dean Kamen.