U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz issued the following statement in response to President Obama's State of the Union address. The Congresswoman's guest for the evening was Pennsylvania's 2013 Teacher of the Year, Ryan Devlin.
Ryan is a teacher at Brockway Area High School in Jefferson County where he teaches 11th-grade British literature, 8th-grade computer science, and two high school electives -- creative writing and digital media.
"Tonight, President Obama put forward a bold vision to grow America's middle class and strengthen our economic competitiveness.
"Congress must take action to meet our looming fiscal deadlines and provide certainty and stability for our families and businesses. This means not only demanding fiscal discipline in both spending and tax policy that strengthens the middle class, but also providing new revenue to make the right investments for a growing economy. Investing in infrastructure, advanced manufacturing and new sources of energy will expand business and job opportunities.
"Making education a priority will ensure a skilled workforce for future generations. I am proud to be joined tonight at the State of the Union by Ryan Devlin, Pennsylvania's 2013 Teacher of the Year, whose creative approach to teaching and integration of technology in the classroom has inspired Pennsylvania students, while providing them with practical skills for the future.
"I commend the President for investing in education. We know that teachers and schools cannot succeed in their mission if their facilities are crumbling or if they lack textbooks. Teachers cannot educate if their classrooms are too crowded or if they lack the training to be effective.
"The President has also called on Congress to protect our children by taking action to reduce gun violence. We must come together to enact common sense gun laws that recognize the responsibility of gun-ownership and ensure safety and security in our homes, schools, communities and public spaces.
"Congress has to work together to provide solutions that meet these serious challenges. I stand ready to work with President Obama and Congress to find common ground and meet our obligations as a nation."