U.S. Senator Chris Coons of Delaware

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All blog posts related to the issue: Education
  • Senator Coons talks financial responsibility with Shortlidge Elementary School students

    Senator Coons reads about financial literacy to students at Shortlidge Elementary School on April 11, 2014. Photo Credit: Evan Krape, University of Delaware.

    Photo credit: Evan Krape, University of Delaware

    Senator Coons, along with members of the Delaware Bankers Association, visited with 4th grade students from Shortlidge Elementary School as part of the 16th annual Teach Children to Save Day. Chris joined Mrs. Mahotiere’s class and read from the book The Great Investo and The Secret Saver.

    The Teach Children to Save program is a state-wide outreach program sponsored by a partnership of the Center for Economic Education & Entrepreneurship and the Delaware Bankers Association. The goal of the program is to draw attention to the importance of teaching children about saving at an early age. The program is held in April as part of Financial Literacy Month. More than 285 volunteer bankers are visiting 92 schools this week to teach a lesson on saving using the Great Investo book.

    This year’s Teach Children to Save Day lesson is based off Greg Koseluk’s new book The Great Investo and the Secret Saver. The book was written and illustrated by Koseluk, a member of the Delaware Bankers Association. Koseluk created the book specifically for the 2014 Teach Children to Save Day event with the assistance of a grant from Capital One.

    Financial Literacy
  • Senator Coons announces bill to boost manufacturing education at universities

    Senator Coons works with biochemistry students at UD on February 20, 2014

    Senator Coons joined leaders from the University of Delaware Thursday to announce new legislation designed to boost STEM education and help universities prepare students for careers in innovation and advanced manufacturing. The Manufacturing Universities Act of 2014 would award competitive grants to 25 designated ‘manufacturing universities,’ to better align educational offerings with the needs of modern manufacturers.

    “The entire lifecycle of innovation, skills, and creativity in manufacturing has to include universities,” Senator Coons said. “Universities have a central role to play in continuing the cycle of innovation that is essential if American manufacturing is to continue its current recovery. Over the last three years, our economy has regained 600,000 manufacturing jobs, but hundreds of thousands more remain unfilled because there aren’t enough appropriately skilled and trained process engineers, mechanical engineers, and chemical engineers to keep that innovation going.”

    Grants of $5 million per year, for a four-year period, will help universities revamp their engineering programs to emphasize manufacturing skills, incentivize partnerships with local manufacturers, increase internship and cooperative education opportunities for students, and help more recent graduates launch new manufacturing businesses.

    “We want more students graduating with the skills they need to thrive in the 21st century manufacturing environment, and we want more of our universities orienting themselves toward this field where we can win, our communities can win, and our country can win.”

    Following the announcement Senator Coons visited with biochemistry students and faculty at UD’s Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Laboratory (ISE Lab) to demonstrate a chemical reaction and discuss the importance of STEM education.

    University of Delaware
  • Senator Coons surveys the future of charter schools in Wilmington

    Sen. Coons listens to Community Education Building president Riccardo Stoeckicht as they stand in what will be the CEB's 7,000 square foot library on January 17, 2014.

    Sen. Coons listens to Community Education Building President Riccardo Stoeckicht as they stand in what will be the building's 7,000 square foot library.

    Senator Coons peered into the future of Wilmington's charter schools as he joined Community Education Building (CEB) representatives Riccardo Stoeckicht and Robert Boyd for a behind-the-scenes look at the under-construction CEB in downtown Wilmington Friday. The 11-story building, donated by Bank of America to the Longwood Foundation, will house between 2,400-2,800 students when schools are operating at capacity.

    Also along for the tour was Sally Maldonado, head of school for Kuumba Academy, one of the first schools that will be housed at the CEB. Academia Antonia Alonso is also scheduled to begin classes there in the fall.

    “Students, especially young students, need a place to learn where they can feel inspired, safe and comfortable,” said Chris. “This building, once completed, will provide a place for more than 2,000 students to learn, grow and flourish as members of their community.”

    “This project represents the best of Delaware," Senator Coons continued, "a state of neighbors that can come together from all areas, from the private sector to the non-profit world, to build something that is truly great. This facility is an example of what partnering and collaboration can achieve.”

    Charter Schools
    Community Education Building
  • Senator Coons talks policy, public service with UD students

    Senator Coons talks policy, public service with University of Delaware students on December 2, 2013.

    No topic was off limits in Dr. Chris Counihan’s Introduction to Politics class at the University of Delaware Monday afternoon, as Senator Coons fielded students’ questions on policy issues ranging from the recent government shutdown, to GMOs, veterans' health, and employment issues.

    Chris spoke with the class of more than 100 students about his early background of non-profit work with AmeriCorps, his work in the private sector with Gore, and what led him to run for office for the first time.

    “I was approached to run for County Council, and I initially rebuffed the suggestion,” Chris said. “But then my wife, who had worked in county government for many years, said 'that’s exactly what you should do.' She said, ‘It was the County Police who kept you safe when you were a kid, the county park where your youth group from church met, and the Kirkwood Highway New Castle County library is where your mom dropped you off to keep you out of trouble. You grew up here, you benefitted from this place, but you haven’t given anything back to it.'” 

    “Long story short, when your wife says do it, you do it,” Chris said with a smile.

    Chris also touched on the recent dysfunction in Congress. “It is better than it seems from the outside,” said Chris. “I’ve actually been able to build real friendships with Republican senators. There are good and capable members of the Senate and the House, both parties, but the bad news is sometimes we don’t act like it. I’ve spent a lot of time visiting with Republican senators, traveling with them, going to prayer breakfasts with them, so we can get to know each other and try to build something.”

    Chris closed by adding, “Public service has been the best experience I’ve had in my life. I never expected it would be as rewarding and positive as it has been.”

    County Government
    Government Shutdown
    New Castle County
    University of Delaware
  • Senator Coons discusses college decisions, assists with applications at Mt. Pleasant High School

    Senator Coons works on a college application with student Tah-Jay McLaughlin during a visit to Mt. Pleasant High School on November 15, 2013 for College Application Month.As part of College Application Month, Senator Coons met with thirty students from Mount Pleasant High School on Friday to discuss the importance of a college degree and how to go about choosing the right college.

    College Application Month is a nationwide effort to assist high school seniors in the college application process and increase college attendance. Special focus is placed on first-generation college students or those who otherwise may not have considered applying to college. The program is coordinated locally by the Delaware Department of Education and the Institute for Public Administration at the University of Delaware.

    “We just came through a very tough recession,” said Chris. “Unemployment amongst those with a college education was dramatically lower. Lifetime earnings are also dramatically higher if you have a college education – individuals with a bachelor’s degree earn on average more than $1 million more throughout their careers than those with only a high school degree.”

    Attentive students fired off questions to Senator Coons about his career path, education in Delaware, and his advice for making the most of their college experiences.

    Chris particularly stressed the importance of students completing their studies once they get to campus. “The worst case scenario is to go off to college having not really thought it through, not having a solid foundation, not having clarity about how you’re going to finish. You start, do two or three years, rack up a lot of debt and drop out. Do not do this. That’s buying a house you never get to live in.”

    Chris concluded his visit with a college application workshop for a small group of students. During the session, Chris counseled the students on a range of considerations – from Gilbert Peralta, a promising baseball player who is looking to continue his baseball career in college, to Tah-Jay McLaughlin and Ernie Lowden, who are looking for colleges that not only offer the courses of study they are interested in, but also fit them personally.

    Senator Coons is committed to helping increase the number of low-income and at-risk students able to access and complete a college education. He is the lead sponsor of the bipartisan American Dream Accounts Act, a bill to authorize the Department of Education to award three-year competitive grants for innovative and comprehensive partnerships that help low-income students prepare for a college education.

    College Accessibility
    Delaware Department of Education
    University of Delaware
  • Senator Coons recognizes work of UD’s Engineers Without Borders

    Senator Coons joined Caesar Rodney Rotary Club to congratulate University of Delaware's Engineers Without Borders on successful projects on November 1, 2013

    Senator Coons was pleased to join the Caesar Rodney Rotary Club Friday to congratulate the University of Delaware’s Dr. Steve Dentel and his Engineers Without Borders students on the completion of successful projects in Cameroon and Guatemala, and hear about the group’s future plans to bring clean water to communities in Malawi.

    “Clean water and sustainable infrastructure are basic human necessities that we often take for granted here in the United States,” said Senator Coons. “Under the leadership of Dr. Dentel, the Engineers Without Borders chapter of the University of Delaware has done inspiring work to expand access to clean drinking water in Cameroon and construct a bridge uniting a community in Guatemala. I look forward to hearing about the life-changing impacts they will make as they embark on their next project in Malawi. In each community they touch, these student leaders serve as remarkable ambassadors for both Delaware and the United States, and I thank them for their hard work and dedication to serving communities around the world.”

    During Friday’s Rotary Club meeting, EWB students Jon Perna, Caroline Bibb, Erica Addonzinio, and Sam Meahan discussed in detail their successful Cameroon Water Distribution System project, which expanded access to quality clean drinking water in the villages of Bakang and Balatsit in Bamendjou. Students then announced their five-year commitment to projects in the areas of Blantyre and Zomba in Malawi.

    The students were also on hand to accept financial support from the Rotarians. A special auction of 15 uniquely painted rain-barrels by local artists raised $6,000 for the EWB club. 

    University of Delaware EWB’s mission is to design and implement sustainable solutions to problems in international developing communities and bridge cultural, economical, and political divides.

    Engineers Without Borders
    Rotary Club
    University of Delaware
  • Delaware company demonstrates value of federally funded scientific research

    Delaware’s ET International, Inc. was among 100 companies profiled in a new report released today by the Science Coalition – a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of more than 50 of the nation’s leading public and private research universities, including the University of Delaware. The report, titled, “Sparking Economic Growth 2.0: Companies Created from Federally Funded University Research, Fueling Innovation and Economic Growth” highlights companies that trace their roots to federally funded university research. The companies in the report were self-selected by the member universities of the Science Coalition and are illustrative of how federal research can spur the creation of companies that bring innovations to market, create jobs, and contribute to economic growth.

    ET International, Inc. (ETI) was founded in 2000 by Dr.Guang Rong Gao, a distinguished professor in computer and electrical engineering at the University of Delaware. The company originated in the university’s scientific labs and is now a leading provider of system software for advanced many-core computing systems ranging from supercomputers for highly scientific research to high-performance portable devices for smart phones. In a statement to the Science Coalition, the company noted that “Federally supported research completed at the University of Delaware and ETI” by Dr. Gao “allowed his deep-rooted belief in fundamental dataflow principles technologies to be successfully explored, designed and implemented…”

    Indeed, ETI’s first phase of growth generated over $22 million in investments from the industry’s most renowned High Performance Computing organizations including The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, IBM, Intel, Cray, and Samsung. ETI’s software solutions increase performance, computing power, and efficiency to allow users to fully realize the power of many-core architectures. Built on a decade of highly complex research, ETI currently provides software, applications and custom engineering services for the energy, defense, semiconductor, digital media, and financial markets.

    During a time when federal funding for R&D has been on the decline, with funding levels in 2013 at historic lows, ETI and the other companies highlighted in the report show the high return on investment yielded by federal funding of basic scientific research. Senator Coons is committed to ensuring that our nation continues to support innovative research and companies like ETI that create jobs and keep America on the cutting edge of technological innovation. 

  • Senator Coons talks faith, community at DSU 3rd Annual Prayer Breakfast

    Senator Coons stands with former DSU President Dr. William B. DeLauder and current DSU President Dr. Harry L. Williams at DSU's 3rd Annual Prayer Breakfast on September 20, 2013

    Senator Coons delivered welcoming remarks Friday at Delaware State University’s 3rd Annual Presidents Prayer Breakfast, hosted by President Dr. Harry L. Williams. The theme of the breakfast, “One Body, One Community, One DSU Family,” brought together University, faith, and business leaders to raise money for DSU’s student scholarship fund. 

    Chris addressed this year’s theme by evoking a verse from Corinthians 1:12: “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.”

    “It is ours to know and to learn and to be patient about what piece we are called to be,” said Chris. “Are we called to prophesy? Are we called to witness? Are we called to work? Are we called to be the hands to lift up and hold up others? This is a body that knows how to be a body united in faith, a community united in faith and a family to one another.”   

    Chris also referenced last year’s theme of faith as the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. One year later, the results of the DSU community’s faith are evident on campus. This was a year full of accomplishments for the school, as it was ranked 9th among Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the U.S. by the U.S. News and World Report, developed a new Living and Learning Commons for students, and was awarded its latest Fulbright scholarship, to Professor Constant D. Beugre.

    “I could stay here all morning and read off the list of things that have been accomplished here in the last three years,” said Chris. “The federal grants, the new students taught, the new centers created and the latest campus addition in New Castle County. These are good, great, and remarkable things.”

    Senator Coons joined keynote speaker Rev. Dr. Christopher A. Bullock and Rev. Dr. Silvester Beaman in addressing attendees at the event.

    More information about Delaware State University can be found here: www.desu.edu.  

    Delaware State University
  • Senator Coons applauds White House initiative to increase internet connectivity in classrooms

    Senator Coons commended President Obama’s announcement last week of a new White House initiative to bring high-speed Internet access to America’s schools.

    ConnectED aims to make high-speed digital connections available to 99 percent of America’s students within the next five years in collaboration with the Federal Communications Commission.

    “ConnectED represents a vital investment in education and our children,” Chris said. “This effort will modernize public schools and enable a vast improvement in the quality and impact of the education our children receive. The presence of better technology in the classroom will open doors to new teaching and learning opportunities and equip students with the skills they need to get good jobs. I commend the President’s leadership and am excited to see ConnectED implemented in the years to come.”

    New high-speed Internet connections will allow schools to benefit from the technological invention and innovation of the American private sector. Digital educational content will enable more interactive learning, and Internet-capable educational devices will increase opportunities to take advantage of online learning resources.

    In addition to enhancing connectivity, ConnectED will invest in training teachers to use educational technology effectively in the classroom. The Department of Education will work with states and local school districts to increase funding for professional development to support educators in their efforts to use technological tools for teaching.

    In Delaware, the State Board of Education, Department of Technology & Information, Department of Education, and Center for Educational Technology have all been working hard on bringing opportunities to increase broadband access and digital technology to schools. ConnectED will build on that momentum and leadership on these issues in Delaware.

  • Video: Senator Coons' passionate speech about helping kids get to college

    Speaking at a forum organized by Opportunity Nation and CFED on Capitol Hill last week, Senator Coons made an impassioned case for doing more to help kids from low-income families save for college, sharing his own personal experience working with at-risk kids with the "I Have a Dream" Foundation.

    American Dream Accounts
    College Accessibility
Untitled Document