As Labor Day has come and gone, communities across America are heading back to school. I want to wish you and our students a safe and productive school year.
Representing western Wisconsin, which is home to more than 80 school districts and seven universities, I know that investing in education is investing in our nation's future. We must ensure students have the tools they need to reach their academic potential, enabling them to not only succeed in this growing global economy, but create and fill the jobs of tomorrow.
I also know that qualified and dedicated teachers can make a big difference. Our state has always been at the top of the charts for public education, but with statewide budget cuts, we know too well that there are challenges in fulfilling this goal.
Teachers need support at both the state and federal level. That is why I have supported initiatives like the Educator Expense Deduction for educators who purchase school supplies for their students, allowing them to deduct up to $250 for unreimbursed classroom expenses. I have also been a long time supporter of the America COMPETES Act which increases funding for STEM education to ensure that our students are prepared for jobs in the 21st century and that America can continue to compete on a global level.
I have always treasured the strong emphasis our state places on education. The knowledge and skills that students obtain in Wisconsin schools will undoubtedly help them as they enter the highly competitive job market. I thank you for your dedication and hard work and wish you a great school year.