Giving Loan Forgiveness to All of America's Teachers:
Teaching is one of the most important professions in our society -- yet too often, America's educators find themselves underpaid, and overworked with high class sizes. During these tough budgetary times in California, many of our best young teachers are receiving layoff notices instead of praise. We must do more to encourage promising young people to enter the profession, and keep America's best and brightest where they can impact the most lives -- in the classroom.
To help solve this problem, I have introduced legislation in the House of Representatives that provides all public elementary and secondary school teachers in the United States with the opportunity to receive $25,000 in student loan forgiveness. The Teacher Education Assistance Creating Hope (TEACH) for our Future Act, provides $25,000 in loan forgiveness to teachers who received a loan through either the current Federal Direct Loan (FDL) program, or the now defunct Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program, as long as a teacher has taught full-time for 5 consecutive years at any public school in the nation.
Any person who is willing to give of him or herself in order to create a better future for our children is worthy of our admiration, whether they teach math and science or art and physical education. It's time for America to say thank you to our nation's teachers -- and to make it a little bit easier for them to receive the education they need to mold our future generations.
Promoting Greater Physical Education in America's Schools:
The rate of childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years -- and obesity related health care, along with lost worker productivity, now costs our nation over $270 billion annually. It is absolutely essential that we implement preventative policies to create a fit future for our children, and stop the public health epidemic that obesity has become.
Last month, I introduced legislation in the House of Representatives that requires all public schools to provide minimum requirements of physical education time for all students. The Physical Education to Create a Healthier Nation Act requires elementary schools to have at least 150 minutes of physical education per week for students. For middle and high schools, it requires at least 225 minutes of physical education per week for students. The mandated physical education levels are those currently recommended by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE), a non-profit association dedicated to quality in physical education and sport.
It is terrifying that right now, we are raising the first ever generation of Americans to have shorter life expectancies than their parents. This legislation is an important first step in recognizing the seriousness of childhood obesity, and working towards preventative solutions that makes America a happier, healthier nation.
Joe Baca, Congressman
43rd Congressional District