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Public Statements

Issue Position: Education

Issue Position

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Education is the cornerstone in building America's future. We need to ensure that all students receive the same access to a first rate education in order to prepare them for the demands of the 21st century. Strengthening our schools, fully funding special education, modernizing our classrooms, and ensuring that we have qualified teachers with the best training are some of the essential steps towards reaching this goal. In addition, a college education is as important today as a high school education was a generation ago and the increasingly high cost of college tuition remains a top concern for today's students. As a senior member of the Education and Labor Committee, Carolyn McCarthy has been committed to the education of all students nationwide and will continue to pass legislation that will benefit our children.

Carolyn has introduced the following bills:

Financial and Economic Literacy Improvement Act, H.R. 1645

As a nation, we have all been impacted by the effects of our struggling economy. While there are many factors that have contributed to the current economic climate and there is no one cause, we do know that consumers need to be more aware and informed of how their finances work and how to avoid some common financial pitfalls. HR. 1645 will provide grants to improve financial literacy education for K-12 and college students, as well as adults. Referred to the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education.

Amendment in the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009, H.R. 3221

This amendment made five technical changes to the bill to strengthen the financial literacy components. It sought to better educate students and arm them with the knowledge that will help them navigate the rough waters of our economy. Passed by House by a vote of 428--2 on 9/17/09.

Child Care Facilities Financing Act, H.R. 1685

This bill would provide funding to build and maintain child care facilities. By allowing the Secretary of Health and Human Services to award competitive grants to experienced non-profit community development organizations, this bill would help providers develop well-designed and appropriately-located facilities that will foster an environment of productive play and staff dedication. Referred to the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education.

Teachers at the Table Act, H.R. 2624

Currently there is no timely feedback on the impact and implications of NCLB being provided by teachers in the classroom. Since NCLB was enacted, Congresswoman McCarthy has gotten a lot of feedback from Washington groups, but not from classroom teachers. She knows that hearing from teachers "on the ground" would be beneficial to Congress by providing a perspective on how NCLB is being interpreted and administered by States. The Teachers at the Table Act calls for a voluntary teacher advisory panel, consisting of classroom teachers, to report to Congress on implementation and effect of the law on students and families. Referred to the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education.

Supporting the goals and ideals of a National Early Educator Worthy Wage Day, H.Con. Res 99

Child child care workers do a very important job, and should receive compensation. H.Con.Res. 99, a resolution recognizing National Early Educator Worthy Wage Day, and urging public officials and the general public to honor early childhood care and education staff and programs in their communities and to work together to resolve the early childhood care and education staff compensation crisis. Passed House 4/27/09, pending in the Senate.

Family Engagement in Education Act of 2010, H.R. 5211

Research demonstrates that family engagement in a child's education increases student achievement, improves attendance, and reduces the dropout rate. Family engagement may be the single greatest factor to closing the achievement gap. The Family Engagement in Education Act would strengthen the parental involvement provisions in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) by providing infrastructure and capacity for family engagement on the federal, state, and local levels that supports best practices and meaningfully engages families to close the achievement gap.

Teacher and Principal Improvement Act, H.R. 5336

Provides teachers, principals, and school leaders with comprehensive professional development and mentoring programs to improve teaching and leadership skills. It would provide $1 billion in targeted assistance to schools to develop and support effective teachers, principals, and school leaders through implementation of research-based strategies, such as: team- based professional development; mentoring; high-quality support for principals and school leaders; redesigned evaluation systems; and increased compensation amongst other measures.

Turning Around Low-Performing Public High Schools Act, H.R. 5467

Authorizes a program within the Department of Education to provide grants to established, non-profit, tested and successful public high school turnaround organizations to continue and expand comprehensive, scalable, high school transformation programs nationwide.

Promoting Students Using the Camp Community for Enrichment, Strength, and Success (Promoting SUCCESS) Act, H.R. 5963

This bill would direct the Secretary of Education to carry out a grant program to fund pilot projects to explore how the camp experience promotes physical activity and healthy lifestyles among children and youth, reduces summer learning loss, and promotes academic achievement.

School Resource Officer Resolution, H.Res. 1554

Recognizes the services provided by school resource officers and their dedication to the safety, security, and well-being of students, teachers, school support staff, and school communities in the United States.

Higher Education Affordability and Equity Act (With Rep. Higgins), H.R. 5078

Expands and makes permanent many of the higher education affordability provisions in law that are due to expire at the end of this year. Altogether, the provisions in this bill will help students and families throughout the life of their education by expanding opportunities to save for college, removing restrictions on scholarships and grants while a student is attending college, and assisting former students who are repaying student loans after they graduate.

METRICS Act (With Rep. Holt), H.R. 5024

Provides competitive grants to states to improve the use of their statewide data systems and to low-income local education agencies (or consortia of local education agencies) with low-performing schools to help build the capacity to use data to improve student outcomes.

Carolyn has cosponsored the following bills:

Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (SAFRA), H.R. 3221

This historic legislation, the largest investment in college aid in history, will transform the way our student loan programs operate and ensure that Americans have access to affordable, quality education opportunities to help make our economy strong and competitive again. The legislation is fully paid for, and will in fact result in $10 billion of deficit reduction. Rep. McCarthy was instrumental in securing a number of provisions that would benefit educational institutions and help our students to be successful. Passed on September 17, 2009 by a vote of 253-171, included in healthcare reform bill.

Safe Schools Improvement Act, H.R. 2262

An unsafe school environment, including one made unsafe by daily bullying and harassment, is a major contributor to the drop-out problem. Accordingly, bullying and harassment in our nation's schools have become a national concern for students, educators, and parents alike. The bill requires schools to collect data regarding bullying and harassment incidents, and will allow them to teach students about the consequences of bullying and harassment and develop and implement programs to reduce these consequences.

Preventing Harmful Restraint and Seclusion in Schools Act, H.R. 4247

Congresswoman McCarthy was glad to work with Chairman George Miller as a lead sponsor of the bipartisan Preventing Harmful Restraint and Seclusion in Schools Act. A recent GAO report exposed hundreds of cases of students being abused as a result of inappropriate uses of restraint and seclusion, often involving untrained staff. The introduced bill, H.R. 4247, the Preventing Harmful Restraint and Seclusion in Schools Act, would limit physical restraint and locked seclusion, except in emergency situations, prohibit mechanical restraints, and require parental notification when schools used restraint or seclusion. Passed House 3/3/10.

Keep Our Pact Act, H.R. 1102

In 2002, Democrats helped pass bipartisan legislation, the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. The Bush administration then bungled early implementation of this law. The law has been severely underfunded. Congresswoman McCarthy is working to fully fund No Child Left Behind, while Congress is working to reform this law so that we close the achievement gap so all children are able to get the skills they need to succeed. That is why she is a cosponsor of H.R. 1102, the Keep Our Pact Act, to fully fund NCLB, as well as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Balancing Act of 2009, H.R. 3047

Includes a number of bills, such as Rep. McCarthy's Child Care Facilities Financing Act, to improve the lives of working families by providing family and medical need assistance, child care assistance, in-school and afterschool assistance, family care assistance, and encouraging the establishment of family-friendly workplaces.

Martin Luther King Service Resolution, H.Res. 1002

Honors the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and encourages the continued commitment to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a national day of service. Passed House on 1/13/10.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver Act, H.R. 5220

Includes a number of programs for people with intellectual disabilities. Passed House on 5/19/10

Affordable Tutoring for Our Children Act, H.R. 4391

Allows dependent care flexible spending accounts to include school tutoring services.

Prescribe A Book Act, H.R. 1526

Authorizes a competitive grant program to support a pediatric literacy initiative.

Medical School Construction Grant Act, H.R. 4875

Creates a program of grants to support allopathic and osteopathic medical schools to increase the nation's number of physicians.

Post 9/11 Troops to Teachers Enhancement Act, H.R. 3943

Makes some changes to the Troops to Teachers program (which places former troops in teaching positions) including decreasing the number of years of service required, making more Afghanistan and Iraq veterans eligible, and making more districts available.

National Healthy Schools Day Resolution, H.Res. 1280

Supports the goals and ideals of National Healthy Schools Day, which include the promotion of healthy and safe places to learn.

No Child Left Inside Act, H.R. 2054

Creates a new environmental education grant program, provides teacher training for environmental education, and includes environmental education as an authorized activity under the Fund for the Improvement of Education.

Student Non-Discrimination Act, H.R. 4530

Establishes a comprehensive Federal prohibition of discrimination in public schools based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity and provides victims with meaningful and effective remedies, modeled after Title IX.

AmeriCorps Resolution, H.Res. 1338

Recognizes the significant accomplishments of AmeriCorps and encourages all citizens to join in a national effort to raise awareness about the importance of national and community service. Passed House 5/13/10.

Clery Act Resolution, H.Res. 1609

Recognizes the 20th anniversary of the enactment of the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act.

Carolyn has supported the following legislation that has been voted on in the House:

Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (SAFRA), H.R. 3221

Congresswoman McCarthy was pleased to cosponsor and support passage in the House of the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (SAFRA), which passed on September 17, 2009 by a vote of 253-171. This historic legislation, the largest investment in college aid in history, will transform the way our student loan programs operate and ensure that Americans have access to affordable, quality education opportunities to help make our economy strong and competitive again. Passed by House.

Financial Literacy Amendment, H.R. 3221

During consideration of H.R. 3221, Congresswoman voted in favor of an amendment she offered with Congressman Himes on financial literacy education. The House adopted the amendment by a vote of 428-2 to strengthen the financial literacy education components in the bill. The amendment made five technical changes to the bill to strengthen the financial literacy components. It sought to better educate students and arm them with the knowledge that will help them navigate the rough waters of our economy. Adopted the amendment by a vote of 428-2

Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act, H.R. 1586

Provides $10 billion to create and retain jobs, which is estimated to provide about $600 million to New York State alone. In addition, the bill provides $16.1 billion in health assistance to the states that, by reducing shortfalls, will help keep many others on the job, including police officers and firefighters. Became law on 8/10/10.

Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, H.R. 4872

Saves taxpayers $61 billion over the 10 years by switching to the more efficient Direct

Loan program, will help America reach President Obama's goal of producing the most college graduates by 2020 by making college accessible and transforming the way our student loan programs operate. It will strengthen community colleges and training programs to help build a highly-skilled, innovative, 21st century workforce ready for the rigors of a global economy. And it will boost the fiscal health of the country our children will inherit by paying down the deficit by at least $10 billion over 10 years. Became law on 3/30/10.

Keeping All Students Safe Act, H.R. 4247

Protects children from misuses of restraint and seclusion in classrooms.

Unlike in hospitals and other community-based facilities that receive federal taxpayer dollars, there are currently no federal laws that address how and when restraint and seclusion can be used on children in public and private schools.


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