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
Washington, DC – U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14), Co-Chair of the STEM Caucus, has joined 30 Members of Congress in urging House and Senate leadership to maintain the income exclusion for graduation tuition waivers in any final tax reform bill. These waivers allow graduate students in a variety of fields to be shielded from a large tax on their tuition costs at a time when they cannot afford it.
Campton Hills, IL —U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) and his STEM Scholars kicked off this year’s class with two meetings in the 14th Congressional District. First, they tackled microbiology with faculty at an Elgin Community College laboratory. Their second meeting took place at FONA International in Geneva, where students learned about food flavoring science, as well as career and industry trends.
Washington, DC – Today Congressmen Randy Hultgren (R-IL-14), Mike Thompson (D-CA-05), Bradley Byrne (R-AL-01) and Derek Kilmer (D-WA-06) introduced the Career Advancement Through New Skills Act, legislation that would incentivize employers to invest in their employees, giving them the necessary training to close the skill gap that exists between employers’ needs and employees in many industries.