On Friday, the House of Representatives walked away from our nation's children by approving a partisan and deeply inadequate reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (commonly known as the No Child Left Behind Act). As a teacher and a scientist, I argued strongly against the flawed bill that would gut our investments in education, ignore the professional development needs of our teachers, and dismantle the federal role in STEM education.
Since 1965, the role of federal involvement in schools -- which is rooted in the Civil Rights movement -- has been to close the skills gap and eliminate inequality in education, not just provide additional funds for schools to use as they please. We must not abdicate our civil rights responsibilities to ensure that all children have access to a quality education.
Instead, we should be considering a proposal that recognizes that federal investment and high standards in science and STEM fields, as well as literacy, and foreign language development. These are critical components of the high quality education that every student deserves. Our students do not receive a second chance; thus we must not walk away from them.
Protecting Our Coast
New Jerseyans have made it clear that they are strongly opposed to offshore oil and gas operations that threaten our beaches, fisheries, and coastal communities. I have always worked in Congress to protect the Jersey Shore. Governor Christie and really all New Jersey public officials support these efforts. As the Ranking Democrat on the subcommittee with jurisdiction over offshore drilling, I have offered amendments in committee to prevent drilling off the east coast and strongly supported renewable energy development like offshore wind.
In February 2011, Governor Christie vetoed an application by Liberty Natural Gas, LLC to build a deepwater liquefied natural gas (LNG) port off the coast of New Jersey. Despite the earlier veto, Liberty has recently resubmitted a proposal to build a nearly identical project, called Port Ambrose, off the New Jersey coast. Last week, I sent a letter to Governor Christie asking him to support New Jerseyans by again vetoing the pending application for a deepwater LNG port off the Jersey coast.
A Belated Thank You
I was recently contacted by a Lawrence Township resident who wanted assistance in getting long overdue medals for his service in World War II. After successfully contacting the Department of the Army on his behalf, I will soon be able to present him with four medals he earned to recognize his service.
Last week, I also was able to assist constituents with problems related to mortgages, passports, and the Department of Veterans Affairs just to name a few. If I can help you address these or other problems with federal agencies, please contact me by visiting http://holt.house.gov/contact or calling 1-87-RUSH-HOLT (1-877-874-4658).