Parents and families should play the primary role in a child's education. Without support at home, efforts in the classroom will fall short of providing students with the best possible chance to succeed.
States and local school boards, working closely with parents, should shape and lead education policy. The Common Core State Standards threaten local control over education, placing it in the hands of unelected bureaucrats and think tanks. We must do all we can to fight against a federal one-size-fits-all approach to education. Every student is unique and they deserve an educational experience that maximizes their ability to fully develop their God-given talents. It does not serve the best interests of students or adequately prepare them for the increasingly competitive global marketplace to use federal funds in ways that don’t allow innovative approaches to curricula.
In Congress, I continue to work for education policies that allow parents choices and encourage participation in their child's education. Education begins at home, continues in the classroom, and extends throughout life. Children and adults must be given the tools to achieve their educational goals.
Skyrocketing tuition costs has put the dream of higher education out of reach for many Americans. I support efforts in Congress to increase competition and transparency among colleges and universities to help lower the burden for students and their families. Students should not graduate with an unbearable loan with no hope for repayment.
This year, I formed a new Higher Education Advisory Council to help represent the needs and priorities of students and families who pursue their education beyond high school; particularly at the seven outstanding community colleges that serve the seven-county region of Illinois' 14th Congressional District. Learning should be a lifelong activity, and Americans should be empowered to improve their skills, knowledge and training throughout their careers and beyond.
When Illinois suffers from above-average unemployment, the unemployed in my district need to know from the various sectors who are hiring what specific skills they need to gain employment—and then find the right educational options to get there.
We must fashion stronger ties between the business community and our community colleges to create a pipeline of trained workers that they will hire. Many of the unemployed include those who have been in the workforce for years but were laid off before they could retire—suffering in “employment limbo.” Now they are without the knowledge necessary to take their experience and move into another job.
Bills like H.R. 803, the Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills (SKILLS) Act, remove roadblocks for workers to access job training immediately, eliminate ineffective programs and instead create a single source of support for workers, employers and job seekers.
To be college- and career-ready, in addition to the core subjects that are part of a well-rounded education, high school students need a rigorous curriculum anchored in the demands of postsecondary and business.
In the 113th Congress, I voted for passage of H.R. 5, the Student Success Act, which reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). This important measure returns responsibility to the states and local school districts and limits the heavy hand of the federal government’s overreach. The grand experiment of Race to the Top paired with the coercive nature of a federal bureaucracy that mandates Common Core standards clearly is not working. Students should not have to submit themselves to remedial courses in college simply because of a lack of preparation in high school. Students in Illinois and across the country who seek accelerated courses and futures in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) should be able to do so and not be held to the limiting Common Core standards.
Video Message Condemning Common Core Coercion:
(Click video to watch me discuss the Common Core education standards and its threat to local control over education.)
More on Education
Campton Hills, IL — U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) announced he is now accepting applications for Summer 2017 internships in his Washington, D.C., Campton Hills and forthcoming McHenry office. The position is unpaid and will run approximately from May through August. Academic credit may be available and schedules can be flexible for those with classes or other obligations. Applicants from the 14th Congressional District are preferred. Applications are due by March 31, 2017.
Washington, DC — U.S. Representatives Randy Hultgren (R-IL-14), Luke Messer (R-IN-6) and David Scott (D-GA-13) have reintroduced legislation to improve the information provided about federal student loans to students and families by requiring the annual percentage rate (APR) to be disclosed. The APR helps borrowers understand the true cost of a loan so they can make good financial decisions. Current law mandates that the APR must be disclosed upfront before someone borrowing from a bank signs on the dotted line.
Washington, DC — U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) released a statement following President Trump’s Joint Address to Congress:
Washington, DC — U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) today released a new report on the state of the heroin and opioid epidemic in northern Illinois. Titled “Persisting in the Fight,” the report includes recent success stories from the 14th Congressional District and recommendations for local, state and federal lawmakers to more effectively tackle drug abuse and treat addiction. Read the report at his heroin and opioid resource page: http://hultgren.house.gov/heroin.
Washington, DC — U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) and the 2016 class of inaugural STEM Scholars held their fourth meeting at the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII) – UI Labs in Chicago to engage in hands-on activities illuminating the careers available in this growing field.