A top priority of mine is ensuring that America's youth has the opportunity to achieve their full potential. Central to making sure our children grow up healthy and thriving is a commitment to strengthening the families and communities who raise them -- particularly our families and communities most at risk -- by providing them with adequate social supports.
Reforming Foster Care
One of the major challenges in empowering the future of our youth involves reforming our foster care system--a system that I believe is the most broken area of federal law. Though Congress has made some progress on these issues, it has been largely incremental. Much more remains to be done, and to truly improve the lives of our foster children we'll need the ideas of a new generation of reformers. We are proud of the work of some of Middle Tennessee's finest advocates, but America's abused and neglected children are our greatest national tragedy and I remain committed to the work that lies ahead. I serve on the advisory board of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI), and will continue to be an outspoken advocate of fundamental foster care reform.
Ensuring a World-Class Education
Every child, no matter where he or she lives, should have access to a high-quality education and an affordable higher education. This means supporting our teachers and principals by providing appropriate incentives for states and localities as they work to improve the unique education systems of their communities, and fully funding the programs we authorize. Tennessee has played a major role in education over the past year, and I am proud of the work that has been done. I am excited about the potential of charter schools and look forward to seeing them succeed in Middle Tennessee.
Financial Aid and Internships
This dedication to our children's future also means providing students and their parents with ways to keep college affordable. A college education is vital in today's globally competitive economy. Please visit my Student Financial Aid center to learn about opportunities for student aid. While you are there, read up about my internship program offering students an inside look into how Congress works.
Promoting Strong Family Finances
We must also focus on the well-being of entire families. One way in which we can strengthen our communities is to promote a culture of savings. The recent recession brought the need for this to light as many families in Middle Tennessee found themselves without adequate savings when times got bad. I have used my position on the Congressional Savings and Ownership Caucus to inform my constituents and fellow colleagues of ways in which they can set themselves on a path to greater financial security - including options like the Tax Time Savings Bond.
Updated July 29, 2011