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Congressman Albio Sires

Representing the 8th District of New Jersey

Education

Investing in education will ensure that future generations have the resources they need to allow our nation to succeed.  To do this, we must work to recruit qualified teachers, reduce class sizes, and make college more affordable. My experience as a teacher in New Jersey encourages me to fight for the highest quality education for our students at every level.

As a former teacher, I know that a teacher’s impact is felt not only in the classroom, but also on the practice fields and in the community. As a student, I had the support of my teachers inside and outside the classroom. As a result, I felt compelled to become a teacher in order to give students the same opportunities that my teachers had given me. New Jersey has some of the most talented teachers in the country. While we ask teachers to prepare our children to meet the challenges of the 21st Century, we must also give them the tools and resources to rise to these challenges.

I understand first-hand that investing in early childhood education is fundamental to the foundations of our children’s learning and development. Investing in our children early will provide the best advantage for younger generations. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is the main source of federal aid to K-12 education. Initially enacted in 1965, this law was amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) to achieve accountability of school systems for improving student achievement outcomes. However, some requirements have become burdensome and punitive. As Congress looks for ways to reform the ESEA, I will continue to work to ensure the needs of our nation’s children are put first.

It is critical that our students are able to compete globally. That is why I believe we must invest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs across the country.  Graduates with STEM degrees are in high demand and are indispensable to our economic wellbeing. These programs will help build a highly-competitive workforce both in New Jersey and across the country. That is why I will continue to support programming that focuses on STEM education for students at every level.

While in Congress, I have supported efforts to improve access to a college education. A college degree has become as important as a high school degree was a generation ago. Therefore, making college more affordable must be a top priority. The largest source of federal grant aid for postsecondary education students comes from Pell Grants. The maximum Pell Grant awards have been maintained at $5,550, and are essential to opening doors and giving students the financial means to attend college. During the Fiscal Year 2019 budget process, I sent a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, and Education requesting $34.6 billion in funding for the Federal Pell Grant Program.

 

More on Education

Apr 25, 2016
Last week in Washington I held several meetings, participated in two House Committee markups, and celebrated special events.
Apr 4, 2016
Over the past few weeks, I have submitted funding requests to the House Appropriations Committee for fiscal year (FY) 2017. Here is a selection of the requests I made to support or increase funding for programs that are important in the 8th District.
Jul 31, 2015

During my time in Washington this week, I attended several Foreign Affairs Committee hearings, met with a group representing 8th District residents, and spoke to future leaders.

Hearings

Jul 17, 2015

I advocated for the people of the 8th District this week by attending Foreign Affairs Committee hearings, meeting with several groups from the Garden State, and voting on critical pieces of legislation.

Jul 10, 2015

Representing the 8th District in Washington this week, I completed Foreign Affairs Committee work, met with one of our district’s young leaders, and cast several important votes.

Jun 12, 2015

This week in Washington, I had an interview with students from my alma mater, received input from several constituent groups, and voted on transportation funding.

May 22, 2015

This week I attended several committee hearings and met with multiple groups from New Jersey. I also took time to take part in a USO project to send snacks to U.S. troops serving abroad.

Apr 24, 2015

Continuing my advocacy for the residents of the 8th District, this week I met with undergraduate students from New Jersey, discussed transportation policy regarding the state’s critical infrastructure, attended important hearings on international affairs, and met with several foreign diplomats.

Mar 27, 2015

This week in Washington, I participated in a Western Hemisphere Subcommittee hearing, attended a Joint Session of Congress, met with a foreign ambassador, discussed important topics with several constituent groups, and voted on important pieces of legislation.

Mar 26, 2015

(Washington, D.C.) - Yesterday, Congressman Sires voted against the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Republican Budget Resolution (H.Con.Res. 27) submitted by Representative Tom Price (R-GA) because of its misplaced priorities.  The Republican budget ends the Medicare guarantee, repeals the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and guts investments in education and infrastructure.

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