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Rep. John Lewis Supports President’s Push to Strengthen Early Childhood Education

February 15, 2013
Press Release

                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. 

                “Head Start was an important innovation of the civil rights movement, and for many years it was a model government program. Unfortunately, Congress has divested its support in the education of all America’s children and has cut the program in recent years.  Now it is another victim of sequestration.  If those looming cuts go into effect, the NEA estimates Head Start could lose about 30,600 jobs. 

                “The President is undaunted by the logjam in Congress and is devising proposals to address these problems in the ways that he can.  He is using the resources at his disposal to commit to high-quality early childhood education by raising standards, exposing children to the best teachers, and the best measures of their success.  I support these ideas and I urge my colleagues to lay politics aside, come together and take action to move America forward to address these vital issues.”

                Rep. Lewis has been a stalwart supporter of educational initiatives.  Recently, he has cosponsored several bills, even in this fiscally restrained Congress, to bolster education:

·         The Equal Access to Education Act – H.R. 2902 creates a solution for high-need schools to recruit, induct, and retain the best teachers to close the achievement gap by decreasing teacher turnover, teacher mentorship and training programs, among other programs;

·         The Teacher Tax Relief Act, H.R. 1738 which would increase and make permanent the maximum deduction allowed for teachers purchasing classroom supplies and expand the deduction to include professional development expenses;

·         The Young Adults Financial Literacy Act, H.R. 300 which would create a grant program to develop financial literacy in young adults;

·         H.R. 3826 which prevents Stafford student loan rates from doubling;

·         and the Student Loan Grace Period Extension Act, H.R. 4286 which extends the grace period for federal subsidized and unsubsidized student loans from 6 months to 12 months.