All of us welcome the new school year as students head back to the classroom, including my son Jacob, who starts 6th grade this year. As a parent, I know what it's like to want our kids to get the best possible education. This is why I continue to support overhauling No Child Left Behind (NCLB), setting high expectations for our students and making sure they have the necessary skills to enter the Alaska workforce.
I recently held a Back to School town hall in Anchorage, where I heard from parents about their concerns for the school year and the future of their children's education. What came across loud and clear is the need for parent involvement. Parents want schools to find more creative ways to involve them, and teachers are trying to find more opportunities for parents to be engaged. Another priority at the town hall was the need to limit federal overreach in education. I agree we must make sure the state and local communities have the flexibility to develop curriculum that meets our students' needs. It's clear that a one-size fits all approach won't work for Alaska. That's why I strongly encouraged Governor Sean Parnell to apply for a NCLB waiver to temporarily exempt Alaska from penalties.
Coming from a family of teachers, I have always been a passionate supporter of education and work hard to make sure Alaska students have access to the best schools and programs. I hope you will take a look at the list of legislation I've introduced below and if you have questions or concerns please send me a message through my website at www.begich.senate.gov. I look forward to hearing from you.
Education Bills in the 113th Congress
- Tax Credit for Early Educators Act (introduced March 4, 2013) - Increases the child care tax credit so parents will enroll kids in early child development programs.
- Preparing and Reinvesting in Early Education Act (introduced March 4, 2013) - Student loan forgiveness for graduates in early education.
- Child Care Public-Private Partnership Act (introduced March 4, 2013) - Grant incentives to companies to establish on-site childcare programs.
Career readiness package
- Counseling for Career Choice Act (introduced February 12, 2013) - Brings all stakeholders together to build counseling programs that encourage Career Technical Education.
- Professional Development for Educators Act (introduced March 4, 2013) - Improve teaching and student readiness by improving training for teachers and principals.
Career and Technical Education Facilities Modernization Act (introduced March 4, 2013) - Modernizing, renovating and repairing Career Technical Education facilities into high-performing and safe facilities.
- Investing in Innovation Act (introduced 2012) - Promotes innovation in schools through granting opportunities.
- Rural Educator and American Community Housing Act (introduced March 4, 2013) - Grant funding and loan guarantees to improve housing for teachers in rural communities.
NOTE: Both the Technology Education Modernization Act and the Investment in Innovation Act include a 25 percent rural set aside to assure rural communities have an equal footing in applying for grant opportunities
Senator Mark Begich