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Public Statements

Issue Position: Education

Issue Position

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Education is the best investment we can make in our children. It helps prepare them for a successful, productive and prosperous future and it prepares them for the globally competitive workforce of the 21st century.

No Child Left Behind

This legislation was designed to specifically address persistent achievement gaps in our nation's K-12 education system. Congressman Matheson believes that while its intentions were good, the Act's implementation was flawed. Matheson strongly supports the goal of returning control to the states while ensuring that the federal financial commitment to education does not wither away.

Before supporting any reauthorization of No Child Left Behind, Matheson seeks legislative changes. His legislation -- the Flexibility for Individual Excellence in Education (FIX) Act-- increases flexibility in satisfying the Highly Qualified Teacher requirements and it grants rural schools an extension to meet them. It guarantees that special education students aren't punished by unrealistic testing demands and it lets states, not the Department of Education, decide to use multiple assessment measures instead of one standardized test in determining progress. The bill also makes common sense changes to Adequate Yearly Progress calculations. Adopting these revisions would help return the legislation to its original intent - the academic success of all students and accountability for all teachers and administrators in the public schools.

Head Start

Visit a Head Start program and you will see a one-stop center that meets many needs of low income children and their families. More than just a preschool, Head Start is an entity that provides efficient distribution of services related to education, health, parenting, social skills and advocacy. This vital early intervention program pays for itself through gains in test scores and skills associated with a readiness to learn in school. Matheson supported the Improving Head Start Act reauthorization of the Head Start Program. As collaboration between the Utah Department of Health, the Utah State Office of Education, the Utah Department of Workforce Services and many public and private community partners, the Head Start program enrolls more than 5,000 Utah children annually.


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