In her visits to schools across our state, Congresswoman Capito is always impressed by West Virginia students' ability to learn and by the commitment of our teachers and principals. She's backed important efforts to focus on math and science curriculum and promote Head Start programming to give West Virginia children access to high quality early education. Capito has supported legislation to provide $7.5 billion in federal Head Start support, and authorize up to $10,000-worth of loan forgiveness to Head Start teachers.
The Congresswoman also believes in setting high standards for our students, while implementing sound education policy to support West Virginia's dedicated educators - particularly as Congress prepares to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).
In March 2008, Capito welcomed Former Secretary of Education, Margaret Spellings, to West Virginia to participate in an education policy roundtable at the State Capitol and to discuss the impacts of the ESEA on West Virginia students. Capito understands the need to establish multiple assessment tools to best measure student performance and provide teachers the flexibility to adapt the material to individual students. She looks forward to working with parents, teachers and principals to ensure they have the resources necessary to provide a quality education for all West Virginia children.
The Congresswoman is a co-sponsor of key measures to support school construction and improvements, and has supported efforts to expand broadband service to rural communities and schools.
Capito also believes every West Virginia student should have the opportunity to realize the dream of earning a college degree. A college education is a key component to a successful career, making it critical that students and parents have the information and resources they need to reach their goals in higher education. She continues to seek solutions that decrease the cost of higher education, while increasing support for students seeking a college degree.
She's supported legislation to increase the maximum Pell Grant from $5,800 to $8,000 and to allow students to receive grants year round. She also voted to decrease student loan interest rates, increase annual unsubsidized loan limits by $2,000 for undergraduate students, and give parent borrowers more time to begin paying off federal PLUS college loans.
In addition, Capito has worked to safeguard federal student loan access and provide families uninterrupted access to federal student loans. In 2008, many private student lenders announced plans to stop issuing federally guaranteed loans because the upheaval in the credit markets made it difficult to obtain the necessary capital to finance college loans. Capito joined a bi-partisan group of congressional leaders in calling on Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, to ensure access of federal student loans.