Last December, the House Education and the Workforce Committee debated a bill to reauthorize the Higher Education Act.
As tuition rates continue to skyrocket across the country, outstanding student loan debt in the United States has exceeded $1 trillion. At the same time, there are 6 million unfilled skills-based jobs - a number expected to reach 11 million by 2022.
The Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act aims to close these gaps.
Critically, the PROSPER Act would increase non-traditional career and work study program options. It does this by doubling current funding for the Federal Work Study program and by lifting restrictions on students working at private sector companies, among other things. It also streamlines all federal student aid applications, bringing some much-needed simplification to the FAFSA process.
Finally, this proposal works to strengthen our workforce development programs by prioritizing industry-led "earn-and-learn" programs that lead to high-wage, high-skill, and high-demand careers. Ultimately, a 21st century Economy demands a 21st century education system.
Additionally, I had the privilege to recognize the winners of the "Future City Competition" on February 23 at my District Office in Roswell. The students attend St. Jude’s Catholic School in Sandy Springs.
This academic contest challenges middle school students from across the U.S. to design a city set at least 100 years in the future. It teaches kids how cities work while also strengthening knowledge in STEM subjects - a focus of mine on the Education & Workforce Committee.
This year’s theme was “Age-Friendly City,” with students asked to design a city that would allow senior citizens to live actively and independently. Practical application at its finest. Congratulations again to the winners!