There is no question that our educational system faces significant challenges that we must address in a comprehensive fashion, and to do so we must be willing to invest in public education. Unfortunately, schools and districts across the nation are struggling due to cuts made in the Budget Control Act, known as “sequestration.”
We must foster a collaborative relationship between local education agencies, states, and the federal government. States agree to implement federal law with the understanding that the federal government will provide a share of the funding. When Congress and the administration fail to fund programs adequately, we may harm that relationship and limit the potential for success.
Most in Congress agree that aspects of “No Child Left Behind” were problematic for schools and districts; we should be properly supporting our schools, promoting local control, and ensuring success for all students. However, I believe we can make these changes without draconian cuts to our children’s future. As we work to rebuild our economy, there can be no greater investment than in our children. Hardworking families throughout Missouri’s Fifth District deserve better. Halfhearted action from Congress puts the American Dream out of reach for millions of students, undermining our economy and weakening our middle class. A reauthorization of ESEA is long overdue; Congress must put aside its partisan bickering and pass a comprehensive bill.
It is my hope that we can continue to make progress in education, so that states are able to devote sufficient resources to train teachers, meet the academic needs of students with diverse learning requirements, implement better assessments that truly measure student performance, help struggling schools, and work to narrow the achievement gap to ensure that every student has equal opportunity to succeed. Not only is education an investment in the future of our children and our country, it generates the knowledge and innovation that will spark future economic growth and prepares our citizenry to participate in our democracy and compete globally.
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(Washington, D.C.) - Today, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO) and Congressman Jim Banks, (R-IN) reintroduced The Student Loan Disclosure Modernization Act, HR 1161. The bill modernizes the Department of Education’s (ED) Plain Language Disclosure Form making the form simpler for student loan borrowers to understand before signing an agreement.
(Washington, D.C.) - Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II condemns the recently released Federal School Safety Commission Report. The Trump administration’s report is a NRA-backed proposal which recommends arming teachers instead of focusing on making schools safer.
“The report ignores a common denominator of all of the tragic school shootings our country has suffered, and that is, easy access to assault style firearms designed for war,” said Congressman Cleaver.
In 2017, there were nearly 40,000 gun deaths in the United States, the highest total in decades.
One of the Superintendents in my district contacted me a while back to help him with an issue. At least 250 students in the Kansas City Public School District had signed on to be a part of the mentorship program. These kids and their families wanted a mentor in their lives. But there was a problem, the school district didn’t have enough mentors from the community to pair with the students who asked for one. More than half of the students on the list who are waiting for mentors are young African American and Latino boys.
I recently had the opportunity to speak to educators to kick off the start of a new school year in the Kansas City Public School District. I know the value of educators and those who give their all to help children.
A teacher’s job is the most important job because teachers change lives. They have the ability to connect with students beyond academics, in other aspects of their lives. A teacher’s personal interest can make the difference in whether or not a student returns to school or even whether he or she graduates.
(Washington, D.C.) – Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO) and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) sent letters to the CEO’s of the four largest student loan servicers - Navient, Nelnet, Great Lakes and FedLoan Servicing - urging them to address consumercomplaints about inadequate servicing, poor record-keeping, and steering borrowers into costly repayment plans.
“We write to you with deep concern over the rising rate of student loan defaults and continuous claims of fraudulent practices in lending, servicing, and collecting,” the letter states.
It was a small request to ask but it could have enormous results. This week, amidst the talk of indictments and tax plans, I called for the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate an area that affects nearly 44 million Americans. It is the reason why so many people are inundated with evening phone calls from collectors. Why working families and young people -just starting out - are troubled with their daily finances. Why some people think twice about going to college. I’m talking about student loans.
(Washington, D.C.) – Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO) and Congressman Sanford Bishop (D-GA) today called on the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate the Department of Education’s student loan services and industry practices.