I believe local districts and state governments should have greater flexibility and control over how they run their schools. I support greater accountability for both teachers and schools to ensure that each student is learning and encourage parents to take an active role in their children's education. Teachers serve a vital role in developing the future leaders of our country, and schools must be given the opportunity to attract and retain top talent.
The 19th Congressional District is home to a variety of colleges and universities -- both public and private four-year institutions as well as quality community colleges and trade and technical schools. I believe higher education in all its forms has become the cornerstone of the American dream and should be supported and pursued. Research universities in this country have been one of the great advantages Americans have enjoyed to compete in the world economy for the last century.
I was an original cosponsor of H.R. 471, the Scholarship for Opportunity and Results Act, which was passed as part of a larger bill in April. This provision will reinstate the school choice voucher program in Washington, DC. The program was originally in operation from 2004 to 2009 and grants low-income children scholarships to attend the private schools of their parents' choice. Students who use the program's scholarships had a graduation rate of 91 percent -- 30 percent higher than their public school peers.