Opinion Pieces

Investing in Our Students

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Washington, May 31, 2019 | comments

As the son of a kindergarten teacher, and now as the father of a kindergartner and third-grader, I’ve seen first-hand the value of a well-rounded education. Every student should have access to high quality, effective education to prepare them for success. I have, and will, continue to place a high priority on education, so that children can grow up with properly trained educators, a well-rounded education, and effective technology. With these resources, children can focus on innovating and advancing our society. 

Thankfully, many of my colleagues in Congress share this goal. Just last month, I supported efforts to invest over $17 billion to a variety of programs for our students’ education. Among these were support for after school programs, health services for low-income students, and comprehensive early childhood education.

I am especially proud to have led bipartisan efforts in Congress to secure robust funding for the Head Start program. Head Start provides comprehensive early childhood education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to low-income children and their families. It is a proven success. Children enrolled in this program are more likely to graduate high school, less likely to be incarcerated or unemployed, and more likely to achieve a higher quality of life as adults.  

I was able to see this community-based approach first hand when I visited the Athens County Head Start Facility. The commitment that the staff has for creating unique, tailored experiences for each student was clear. The combination of the facility, staff, equipment, and support system at Athens County Head Start sets an incredibly strong foundation to prepare these children to succeed at every stage of life. Seeing the this program directly benefiting children’s lives right in Ohio’s 15th District, only reinforced my commitment to Head Start, and I will continue to advocate for its funding.  

I am committed to improving education for children of all ages, which is why I joined my colleagues to encourage $1.6 billion in funding for the Student Support and Academic Enrichment grant program. SSAE will provide educators with effective technology and other necessary tools to provide kids with the education necessary to compete on a global scale. With these resources, schools can implement programs for drug prevention, physical education, and Advanced Placement programs along with arts, computer science, and foreign language courses.

Just as there is strong value in investing in our students during school hours, it is also a priority of mine to provide opportunities for students after school. I also advocated for $1.32 billion in support for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program. This program provides high quality, effective after-school programs for over 1.7 million children. Studies show that investing in these after school programs improve students’ grades, attendance, graduation rates, and overall health, and wellbeing.

When our kids succeed, communities benefit. There is not one unique solution to best prepare our kids for the future. There are many ways we can continue working together to access and support solutions that will enhance our students’ growth.  Moving forward, I promise to continue working both in Congress and with programs across the nation to equip students with every tool they need to thrive.

If you have any questions about what I am working on to support education, or any other issue facing the federal government, I invite you to contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 225-2015, Hilliard office at (614) 771-4968, Lancaster office at (740) 654-2654, or Wilmington office at (937) 283-7049. You can also subscribe to my e-newsletter at www.stivers.house.gov.

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