Education is a cornerstone of democracy. Throughout my time in Congress, I fought for and supported measures to improve public schools and make higher education more affordable for all. While our education system is largely under local control, I am committed to finding the proper balance between the states and federal government, to encourage equality and opportunity. I strongly believe that no matter a person’s income or zip code, access to an excellent education should be a right.
As a member of Congress, I was proud to help increase the maximum Pell award from $4,731 in 2008 to $5,550 today. Pell grants have provided over $35.7 billion to almost 10 million undergraduate students in 2011.
We made our education spending go further by ending subsidies for banks that act as middlemen for federal student loans.
I was also proud to support a tax credit that provides up to $2,500 per year – that’s $10,000 over four years – to help students and their families pay for tuition, fees and books. An estimated 9.4 million families are expected to claim this tax credit for 2011.
No Child Left Behind (NCLB)/Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)
While I appreciate the intent of No Child Left Behind, the time has come to improve the law. I support fixing NCLB in a way that balances accountability and flexibility. We must have measures that truly capture achievement gaps and evaluate teachers fairly. I support multiple assessment measures to form a broad view of student learning and programs which give teachers and administrators opportunities for professional development, training, and collaboration.
While NCLB intended to guarantee the success of all students, it focused too narrowly on standardized testing and today discrepancies in achievement still exist. I am deeply concerned by the number of African-American and Latino students falling through the cracks. In order to accomplish any of the reforms that we seek, we must commit to investing in education. We cannot demand more from our schools while providing them with less. Meaningful reform will include teachers, administrators, and parents in this essential dialogue. We must respect their authority in their children’s and students’ lives.
Higher Education/Pell Grants/Financial Aid
I have always believed in the importance of higher education and have fought to make it more affordable. In the Democratic-led 111th Congress, I was proud to cosponsor the College Cost Reduction Act that helped to make higher education more affordable. This legislation was the single largest investment enacted in over 60 years to help students pay for college. I continue to advocate for increased funding for the Pell Grant program and financial aid reforms. As our economy continues to shift, a college degree is more important than ever before. Even in these difficult financial times, no qualified student should be turned away because of his or her inability to pay. We must work to ensure that our institutions of higher learning are accessible to all of our young people.
For information regarding student financial aid please visit my Student Information page.
More on Education
FEDERAL GRANTS ANNOUNCEMENT
February 20, 2013 Contact: Brenda Jones
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (202) 226-4673
WASHINGTON—Today President Obama visited College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center in Decatur, Georgia. Rep. Lewis was glad the President chose a school within the state to highlight his early childhood learning initiatives. Congressman John Lewis made these comments about the President’s visit.
“I was very pleased that President Obama used an early childhood education center in Georgia as a model for what an early investment in education can do.
FEDERAL GRANTS ANNOUNCEMENT
September 28, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Periodically, Rep. John Lewis is notified that organizations within the 5th Congressional District have been selected to receive a variety of federal grants. This federal grants announcement will advise press and constituents of these notifications. This announcement details about $1.12 million in federal grants coming to the 5th Congressional District.
What is the funding process for federal grants?
Tomorrow Thursday September 20, Rep. John Lewis will host a discussion entitled “Cities in the 21st Century: Lessons from the Making of Modern Atlanta” at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Room 143-B, from 2-4 pm.
WHO: Ambassador Andrew Young, Chair Andrew J. Young Foundation, Inc.
The Honorable Shirley Franklin, former Mayor of Atlanta
The Honorable Marc Morial, President and CEO, National Urban League
Dr. Harvey K. Newman, Professor, Georgia State University
During the mounting tension surrounding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on healthcare, an important financial issue had become obscured. Absent action from Congress by today, the interest rate governing student loans was due to double.
WASHINGTON—The month of May marks commencement season when young students will be taking giant steps in their academic and professional careers. This year Rep. John Lewis is scheduled to make commencement addresses at the following schools and universities:
May 4th Metropolitan College, Atlanta
May 6th North Springs High School, Atlanta
May 19th University of New Hampshire School of Law
Yesterday Rep. John Lewis attended a ceremony at the White House where President Barack Obama introduced his new initiative, My Brother's Keeper, a White House program serving young African American men and boys. Rep. Lewis made these comments:
“President Barack Obama presented an inspiring vision of the future to the Congress and the American people tonight. An America built to last should certainly be the hope of every member of Congress and every citizen of this nation.