U.S. Senator Chris Coons of Delaware

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  • Investing in American workers

    The smartest investment Congress can make is in American workers — whether they currently have a job or not.

    Although we’ve come a long way since the depths of the Great Recession, there’s still more we can and must do to help our small businesses grow and create jobs. Americans continue to face a tough job market and too many of our neighbors have been out of work for a long time.

    At a minimum, we must do more to help unemployed Americans stay afloat as they look for work. That’s why this week, like I did several times last month, I voted to extend emergency unemployment insurance benefits for the 1.7 million Americans and 4,300 Delawareans who have been jobless for more than 26 weeks – and whose benefits expired at the end of December. They’re folks who were laid off through no fault of their own because of the Great Recession. They’ve worked for much of their lives and paid into the system, and they deserve our support as they work to get back on their feet.

    We need to stand with our job-seeking neighbors, and yesterday I spoke on the Senate floor on their behalf. Click here to take a look and to share your own opinion on helping out-of-work Delawareans.

    As I argued on the floor, unemployment insurance is a critical lifeline to Americans looking for work – keeping families from falling into poverty and providing needed support to our economy at the same time.

    Renewing emergency unemployment insurance, though, should only be the start of our work. If we want to grow our economy and our middle class, Washington needs to renew its focus on helping our manufacturers grow and create jobs.

    We need to make sure that at every level, we’re training Americans for the needs of the modern economy. Investing in American workers is how we’ll be able to rebuild our middle class and ensure that our nation can compete over the long-term. By modernizing our education system and building partnerships between our schools and our businesses, we can ensure that our workers have the skills employers need today and tomorrow.

    The best way to help our job-seeking neighbors is to grow our economy and create jobs. Click here to learn more about how I propose to do that and let me know what you think.

    I’m doing everything I can to help businesses create jobs in Delaware, but I can’t do it without you. We’re at our best when we remember that we’re all in this together – when we help lift each other up when one of us has fallen. Thank you for joining me in this critical fight.

  • 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.”

    Tags:
    Charter Schools
    Community Education Building
    Education
    Schools
    Students
    Wilmington
  • What We’re Reading: High school graduation rate is highest in 40 years

    Flag for What We're Reading

    The Washington Post published an article on Tuesday reporting that the percentage of students at public high schools who graduate on time has reached its highest level in nearly 40 years. According to research conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics, 78 percent of students across the nation in the Class of 2010 are estimated to have earned a diploma within four years of starting high school. The last time the graduation rate was at that level was in 1974.

    High school graduation rates are one measure of school success, and educators and policymakers have been trying for decades to stem the number of U.S. students who drop out of high school.

    ……

    High school graduation rates have a significant effect on the economy, according to a study last year by America’s Promise Alliance, a foundation created by Colin L. Powell. On average, high school graduates earn $130,000 more over their lifetimes than peers who drop out of school, the study said.

    Senator Coons has made education reform a priority. In March, he introduced the American Dream Accounts Act to help increase the number of low-income students able to access and complete a college education after graduating from high school.

    Click here to learn more about Chris’ work towards increasing college access.

    Click here to read the full article on the Washington Post’s website.

    Tags:
    American Dream Accounts
    Education
    Education Reform
    Schools
    What We're Reading
  • Annie Coons says: “Let’s Move”

    Annie Coons Lets move

    Annie Coons joined around a thousand children from across the state on Friday at Duffy’s Hope Field Day, hosted in conjunction with the Let’s Move initiative.  The event took place in Wilmington, an official Let’s Move city, and was the kick-off for Duffy’s Hope 10th Anniversary Celebration.  Participants took part in field day activities, healthy lifestyle workshops and a celebrity softball game.

    “Staying fit and active is extremely important to your health and well-being. It impacts every part of your life, and has even been proven to help students do better in school,” Annie said. “Let’s Move is a great initiative that is motivating kids to make smart choices, exercise, and have fun.”

    Duffy’s Hope Field Day was hosted in conjunction with Let’s Move, a healthy eating initiative launched by First Lady Michelle Obama. Let’s Move targets childhood obesity and is committed to solving this challenge within a generation. By presenting parents helpful information and providing healthier foods in our schools, Let’s Move work so all families and children develop a more healthy and active lifestyle.

    Duffy’s Hope Inc. is a nonprofit that has helped over 2,500 school-aged children. The organization targets underserved, impoverished, and at-risk youth in Wilmington, and provides advocacy and mentoring. The funds from Duffy’s Hope 10th Anniversary Celebration weekend will support their mentoring program, H.O.P.E. (Helping Our Young People Excel).

    Tags:
    Health
    Schools
    Wilmington
  • Celebrating National Teacher Day

    All of us can remember teachers who made a difference in our lives. Great teachers can encourage students to reach for their dreams and succeed in school. As we recognize National Teacher Day on May 8, we pause to thank the dedicated teachers in Delaware and across the nation who work tirelessly to educate their students.

    Delaware is full of teachers who are working to ensure that the next generation of Delawareans have the resources they need to succeed. Senator Coons has made it a priority to visit a number of schools in Delaware. In particular, Chris had the pleasure of visiting Delaware Teacher of the Year Amber Augustus’ middle school class at John Bassett Moore (JBM) Intermediate School in Smyrna. Amber is a fifth grade math, science, and social studies teacher who is in her seventh year at JBM. During the visit, Chris toured the school and met with students, teacher, and administrators to discuss best practices.  

    Chris has been an outspoken advocate for education reform. In March, he introduced legislation to help increase the number of low-income students able to access and complete a college education. The American Dream Accounts Act of 2012 encourages partnerships among schools, colleges, non-profits and businesses to develop secure, Web-based student accounts that contain information about academic preparedness, financial literacy and high-impact mentoring and would be tied to a college savings account.

    Click here to learn more about National Teacher Day

    Click here to learn more about Chris’ work to improve education in Delaware.

    Tags:
    American Dream Accounts
    Education
    Schools
    Teachers
  • Senator Coons teams up with students for Food Bank of Delaware

    Photo of Senator COons

    WILMINGTON — Senator Coons joined 25 students at Bancroft Elementary School on Friday as they learned about the importance of giving back through community service at a food-packing project to mark a $125,000 donation from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation to the Food Bank of Delaware.

    The Foundation’s grant will allow the Food Bank of Delaware, in partnership with Children and Families First, and the Christina School District, to support three new food pantries at the Eastside Community School, serving Bancroft, Elbert-Palmer and Stubbs Elementary Schools. The funding will also provide hundreds of students with weekend food through the Food Bank’s Backpack Program. Chris feels strongly that partnerships like this truly have an impact and make a tremendous difference in the lives of our children and the community as a whole.

    “Students can’t have a hunger for knowledge if they’re worrying about the hunger that comes from not having nutritious food on their plates,” Chris said. “Giving families access to the basic necessities that many of us take for granted, like food and hygiene products, will make a significant difference in their lives. JPMorgan Chase Foundation’s generous donation will give many local students the energy and nutrition they need to find success in school and to have positive interactions with friends and family.”

    School officials will discretely identify 25 to 30 families who can select food from the pantry based on their household’s needs each week. In addition, the funding will also allow the Food Bank to provide 353 children with backpacks full of weekend food for an entire school year. The Backpack Program provides food to at-need children times when school is not in session and federal school meal programs are not available.

    To learn more about both the School Pantry and Backpack programs, please contact the Food Bank of Delaware at 302-294-0185 or go to www.fbd.org.

    Tags:
    Hunger
    Schools
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