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Kildee, Biggert And Ryan Introduces Legislation To Help Students Gain The Necessary Skills To Succeed In The 21st Century

Press Release

Location: Washington, D.C.

Congressman Dale E. Kildee (D-MI), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education, joined with Representatives Judy Biggert (R-IL) and Tim Ryan (D-OH) to introduce H.R. 4223, the Academic, Social and Emotional Learning Act.
This legislation will expand access to social and emotional learning (SEL) programs that teach skills such as problem-solving, conflict resolution, responsible decision-making and relationship building. SEL programs have a proven record of not only improving academic performance, but reducing problem behavior such as alcohol and drug use, violence, truancy, and bullying.

"In today's increasingly competitive economy, our children deserve more than an academically challenging environment -- they need the 21st century skills of creative thinking and problem solving," said Congressman Kildee. "That is why I joined my colleagues to introduce the Academic, Social and Emotional Learning Act. By making social and emotional leaning part of every child's education, we are giving the next generation the skills they need for productive and confident lives."

"There are so many bright students struggling to reach their full potential because they don't have the kinds of communication and social skills they need to excel in the classroom," said Congresswoman Biggert. "This important legislation will help provide our children with the skills and tools they need to overcome social and emotional challenges, stay focused on learning, and emerge from school prepared to succeed in the world. I applaud Representative Kildee for his hard work in crafting the Academic, Social and Emotional Learning Act, and I look forward to working with him in the future to help give our students the best educational experience possible."

"If we want to push academic performance to the next level, we need to educate the whole child," said Congressman Ryan. "That means teaching kids how to appropriately handle their emotions and build productive relationships. It's one of the most significant things we can do to support them. I wish SEL was in schools when I was growing up."

"This legislation is a game-changer," said Timothy S. Shriver, chair of the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning's (CASEL) board of directors. "Social and emotional learning can be truly transformative for both children and their schools. We're so grateful to Representatives Kildee, Ryan and Biggert for their leadership in this important step toward scaling up and integrating what we know works into our education systems."

The Academic, Social and Emotional Learning Act builds on recent recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC) that families, schools, and communities all need to work together to create an environment that facilitates healthy development for children.

The Act will expand social and emotional learning programming in elementary and secondary schools in the following ways:

Establish a National Technical Assistance and Training Center for Social and Emotional Learning
* The Secretary of Education will select a non-profit organization to provide technical assistance to States, school districts, and community-based organizations on the effective implementation of social and emotional learning standards and programming.
* The center will also provide ongoing high-quality professional development for school leaders and teachers and conduct research on best practices.

Provide Grants to Support Evidence-Based Social and Emotional Learning Programming
* The Secretary of Education will award five-year competitive grants to states and school districts to work with the national technical assistance and training center on the development and implementation of social and emotional programming.
* State grantees will create a social and emotional leadership team, a state plan, and a high-quality professional development framework and student assessment system.
* School district grantees will appoint district-level coaches and coordinators, establish district-level plans, implement evidence-based programming, and engage families and communities in the social and emotional development of students served.

Conduct a National Evaluation of School-Based Social and Emotional Learning Programming
* The Secretary of Education will conduct an independent evaluation of grantees to determine the program's impact on student achievement, attainment and behavioral outcomes.

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