It is important to provide our nation's students with an opportunity to receive a quality education. There are few things more valuable to an individual than a good education and few things more valuable to a community than educated residents. And, I know that a generous financial aid system is essential to providing access to higher education for students.
Congress has worked to reform the Higher Education Act through the principles of affordability, access, accountability, and quality, so that federal resources are once again focused on expanding college access for low and middle-income students.
During the 110th Congress, legislation was approved to bolster our higher education system and make college more affordable. The “Higher Education Opportunity Act,” which was the first re-authorization of the Higher Education Act in 10 years, passed the House with my support and was signed into law on August 14, 2008. This legislation eases the financial burden imposed on students and families. Higher education must be both accessible and affordable and this bill holds colleges and universities accountable to those paying for an education.
As college tuition and fees rise, students are burdened with an increasing amount of debt. According to the U.S. Department of Education, in 2005, loans accounted for 56 percent of aid in the U.S. and grants accounted for 43 percent.
I will continue to support measures that invest in our young people's education - America's future leaders.
No Child Left Behind
Attention needs to return to America's educational priorities. For far too long we have ignored our students' achievements. Our children deserve better. They need quality teachers, quality instruction time, and quality schools with the flexibility to implement sound teaching programs.
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education
As a member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, I believe that science and technology education are critical to our nation's future.
Science and technology are critical to national security, economic strength, and quality health care. We must make the necessary investments in basic research and science education to ensure that the United States remains the world’s leader in technology and innovation.
I support students’ involvement in the sciences and believe young people should be encouraged to study in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). That is why I have supported legislation such as the “College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2008,” which helps make college more affordable for all individuals and expands college access and support for low-income and minority students and individuals entering the fields of math and science. This legislation also strengthens our workforce and our competitiveness.
I also supported the America COMPETES Act of 2007, which provides students, teachers, businesses and workers the tools to compete in the 21st century economy. To compete in today’s high-tech global economy we need to encourage innovation, foster creativity and promote a talented workforce. This is a critical challenge facing our country. The America COMPETES Act offers incentives for students to pursue careers in math and science and ensures American classrooms are filled with highly qualified teachers. These measures ensure the next generations of Americans are prepared to meet the challenges of the 21st Century.
More on Education
San Antonio – On Sunday, March 5, at 2:00 p.m. at the University of Texas at San Antonio, the office of Congressman Lamar Smith will host an information session for Central and South Texas students, parents, counselors and educators regarding the five service academies: the United States Military Academy, the United States Merchant Marine Academy, the United States Naval Academy, the United States Coast Guard Academy and the United States Air Force Academy.
Washington, DC – On Thursday, Congressman Lamar Smith (TX-21) and Congresswoman Susan Brooks (IN-5) sent a letter to House appropriators urging them to prioritize support for K-12 computer science education.
Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA), along with 26 other members of Congress, today sent a bi-partisan letter to the U.S. Department of Education requesting the Department communicate with states and school districts regarding dyslexia resources that are currently available.
House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today introduced the Research Excellence and Advancements for Dyslexia Act (READ Act) (H.R. 3033), a bipartisan bill to support dyslexia research. Dyslexia is an unexpected difficulty in reading in an individual who has the intelligence to be a much better reader. It is estimated that 8.5 million U.S. school children, or one out of six, may have dyslexia.
SAN ANTONIO — Congressman Lamar Smith today participated in the FIRST Robotics Alamo Regional Championship in San Antonio. Smith, who chairs the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, delivered opening remarks for the robotics competition. More than 3,000 students, parents, and teachers attended the regional competition.
The House of Representatives today approved the bipartisan STEM Education Act of 2015 (H.R. 1020), introduced by Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.). The bill strengthens ongoing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education efforts at our federal science agencies and ensures computer science is included in these efforts. The bill passed with broad bipartisan support by a vote of 412-8.
Leading up to the House of Representatives floor vote on the STEM Jobs Act (H.R. 6429), support for the legislation among national associations, U.S. employers, and trade and professional organizations continues to grow. The STEM Jobs Act boosts job creation and spurs economic growth by eliminating the diversity visa lottery and reallocating up to 55,000 green cards a year to the top foreign graduates of U.S.
Congressman Lamar Smith (TX-21) today joined Humanities Texas in presenting a local teacher with the Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Award. Deborah Magnon-Nolting, a social studies teacher at Randolph High School, is one of 13 recipients of the 2012 award. Ms. Magnon-Nolting has taught social studies in public schools for 35 years, the last 19 of which have been at Randolph High School. More than 300 teachers were nominated for the statewide award.
Congressman Lamar Smith (TX-21) today congratulated the University of Texas on its receipt of an $18.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to create and lead a nanosystems engineering research center. The new research center, called the Nanomanufacturing Systems for Mobile Computing and Mobile Energy Technologies (NASCENT), will use the funds to develop new nanotechnologies that will lead to product innovations and job creation for Austin-area engineers.
Congressman Lamar Smith (TX-21) today congratulated staff from O. Henry Middle School in Austin, Texas for being named a School to Watch in 2012 by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform. O. Henry Middle School was one of 103 schools selected by the organization. It was one of six schools from Texas selected for the honor.
Educators and members of the staff at O. Henry Middle School were in Washington, D.C. for the National Forums 8th annual Schools to Watch conference. Congressman Smith met with O. Henry Middle School staff and praised their achievement.