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As August comes to a close, students have stocked up on notebooks, rulers, textbooks, pens, and pencils and school buses have returned to the roads: all telltale signs that another school year has begun. As teachers and students head back to school we are reminded of the importance of education. President Ronald Reagan once said “Education is a lifelong process that benefits individuals and entire communities and countries and helps lay the foundation of the future.” I couldn’t agree more. I believe that the structure and quality of education is a direct reflection of the strength of our nation and I continue to work to ensure that our education system is accessible and beneficial to all of our nation’s citizens.
Education is a top priority for me, particularly as a member of the House Education and Workforce Committee where I serve on the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education. This subcommittee has jurisdiction over education from early learning through high school level, including special education, career and technical education and teacher professional development. So far this Congress, the subcommittee has been working diligently to address the challenges facing our schools by holding several hearings to review the federal regulatory burden on our kindergarten through twelfth grade classrooms.
Mandates from bureaucrats in Washington continue to be a disaster for our education system and that is why I am a strong supporter of the State and Local Funding Flexibility Act, which puts local and state education administrators in control of how federal funds for elementary and secondary education programs are spent in their school districts. The federal government currently operates a host of elementary and secondary education programs, each with a separate set of strict rules dictating exactly how funds may be spent by local school officials. The manner in which funding is funneled through separate streams can severely limit states’ and school districts’ ability to apply federal funds toward local education priorities and initiatives that meet the unique needs of their students.
One of the most important gifts we can give to our children and grandchildren is a quality education, because education is the key that unlocks the door to opportunity. With so much at stake here in Virginia and across the country, I will continue working in Congress to pass legislation like the State and Local Funding Flexibility Act, which enables our local schools to better target their resources to best serve the needs of their students. I also look forward to receiving input from teachers, principals, local and state administrators, and parents as we work to further strengthen our education system.
To contact me about this or any other matter, please visit my website at www.goodlatte.house.gov.