To strengthen our nation’s economic prosperity, we must invest in its future. That means supporting teachers, protecting our most disadvantaged students, helping low-income families save for college, and ensuring that higher education prepares students for success. Senator Coons was proud to vote for the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015, which reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to help states and school districts serve the needs of students of all backgrounds. Still, he knows that there is more work to be done if we are to ensure students are excelling in reading, science, and math, equipping them with the skills that will be central to our twenty-first century economy. Senator Coons will continue to:
- Promote family engagement in education. Research demonstrates that students perform better in school when parents are actively involved in their child’s education. Senator Coons believes we can engage parents in the education process by helping their children focus on homework, by fostering expectations of college attendance, and by communicating with teachers regularly about progress. This is why Senator Coons worked with Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse from Rhode Island to incorporate key components of their Family Engagement in Education Act into ESEA reauthorization, boosting support for programs that get parents more involved with their kids’ education in Delaware and across the nation.
- Help students of all backgrounds pursue college degrees. Access to higher education, particularly for the most disadvantaged students, is crucial to closing the achievement gap we’ve seen develop in so many communities. In order to place these children on a path to success, we need to encourage them to pursue their dreams from a young age. In fact, research shows that low- and moderate-income children with college savings of up to $500 are four times more likely to graduate from college. That’s why Senator Coons introduced the American Dream Accounts Act with Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, to help break down barriers in college access through combining web-based college savings accounts with high-impact mentoring. Partnerships like these are already benefiting young Delawareans, and Senator Coons remains dedicated to promoting low-income access to higher education across the nation.
- Invest in a successful higher education system. Given that a postsecondary degree is an increasingly vital ticket to achieving the American Dream, we must ensure that higher education will help our students continue to learn and thrive after graduating high school. With college costs and student debt soaring, families and taxpayers alike deserve to know that their significant investments in higher education are being put to good use. Senator Coons is currently working on legislation that would reinvigorate the higher education system by incentivizing improvement in college access, completion, and loan repayment rates. Through these and other efforts, Senator Coons recognizes that if we commit to making important education investments now, our students will be well prepared for years to come.
- Support national service. As a proud member of the bipartisan National Service Congressional Caucus and a lead appropriations champion committed to robust funding for the Corporation for National & Community Service, Senator Coons recognizes the valuable role national service programs, such as AmeriCorps, play in our communities. He has been proud to lead the charge in Congress, advocating for strong funding for national service programs so that every American has the chance to participate in service opportunities throughout our nation.