This week our nation celebrates American Education Week, a time to focus on our commitment to students and educators and rededicate ourselves to ensuring all Americans can receive a quality education. While Republicans have voted several times over the past year to make reckless cuts to education and job training, Democrats remain committed to making investments in our nation’s future. For example, just two months ago, the Obama Administration awarded Community College and Career Training grants, authorized by the Reconciliation Act of 2010, to community colleges to expand and improve education and job training programs and create pathways for people who are looking for employment.
But we must do more to improve education and develop our workforce. That’s why Democrats’ jobs plans – the American Jobs Act and the Make It In America plan – include investments that will allow our nation to out-educate competitors and build a competitive workforce.
The American Jobs Act is a paid-for proposal that will help rebuild our schools and keep teachers in our classrooms by:
- Investing $25 billion in school infrastructure that will modernize at least 35,000 schools, which includes priority for rural schools and dedicated funding to Bureau of Indian Education funded schools;
- Investing $5 billion in modernizing community colleges, which also includes tribal colleges;
- Investing $30 billion to help states prevent layoffs of up to 280,000 teachers, while supporting hiring of tens of thousands more;
- And supporting promising and innovative local work-based job and training initiatives to place low-income adults and youths in jobs quickly.
House Democrats have also made investments in education a priority through our Make It In America plan – a plan to support job creation by providing an environment for businesses to innovate and make products here in the U.S., which will help more families make it in America. This jobs plan includes several proposals that will strengthen education and workforce development:
- Workforce Investment Act: Urges reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act to ensure that workers who seek opportunities in a new field or new opportunities within their own field have the support they need
- JOBS Act: Establishes a Workforce Investment Act pilot program to provide education and training programs in advanced manufacturing
- AMERICA Works Act: Strengthens our workforce by helping American workers earn certifications, degrees, and qualifications for the jobs American industry needs to fill
- SECTORS Act: Forms partnerships between businesses, unions, and educators to train workers for some of the most needed 21st Century jobs
The plan also includes investments in science, technology, engineering, and math education so that we can strengthen American innovation, create the industries of the future, and ensure students have the skills they need to fill well-paying jobs in those industries.
Democrats continue to urge Republicans to work with us on these proposals that will provide more Americans with quality education and job training so that we can bolster American competitiveness and ensure America’s families can succeed.
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