No Child Left Behind Reauthorization

    NCLB represents a significant investment on behalf of the federal government in our nation’s education system.  The law aims to build on principles of accountability for results, local control and flexibility, expanded parental choice, and increased funding resources.  Simply stated, NCLB holds schools accountable for educating our nation’s children and providing results.

    NCLB has been the subject of much debate, misinterpretation, and frustration since enactment.  Having said that, the measure has also increased test scores and narrowed achievement gaps in education.  Many have contacted our office to express their concerns with the funding of NCLB, however it continues to be a priority of Congress and the Bush Administration, despite dramatically different funding priorities as a result of the September 11th terrorist attacks.  I look forward to floor consideration of the reauthorization and hope that core principles are maintained while also addressing the overwhelming concerns voiced by schools administrators, teachers, parents and students.

Higher Education Act Reauthorization 

    The House recently passed the College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2007.  This legislation (H.R. 4137) would reform the higher education system and boost competitiveness.  Specifically, H.R. 4137 would encourage colleges to refrain from increasing costs and provide consumers with additional information regarding price, restore integrity to the federal student loan program and simplify the federal student aid application process.  In addition, the measure would expand access for the low-income and minority students, increase aid for veterans and military families, strengthen the Pell Grant program, and make textbook costs more manageable.  Finally, H.R. 4137 would boost campus safety and disaster readiness plans. 

    While the measure contained what I view as a number of duplicative new federal programs, I felt that overarching intent of H.R. 4137 merited my support.  Specifically, I believe that it is important that the federal government do its part to assist families and students who face fluctuating college costs and make difficult choices about whether they should pursue or continue their education.