Welcome to my Education E-Newsletter! As I continue to work on behalf of the students in the 53rd district, I’ll use this newsletter to keep you updated on what is happening in the education world.
I hope you enjoy my first edition of this newsletter!
Susan A. Davis
Member of Congress
Inside the House Committee on Education and the Workforce
2017 Year in Review: Education
While we were able to pass some important bipartisan bills like the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, this year also saw many attacks on public education.
As the Ranking Member on the House Higher Education and Workforce Development Subcommittee, I have fought against these attacks and worked to expand resources for our students. Congress has a responsibility to protect students, not special interests and for-profit schools, as we consider sweeping higher education legislation.
We must preserve resources for public education in K-12, make college affordable for all students, and increase access to quality apprenticeship programs. I have worked to prevent the DeVos Department of Education from privatizing education, introduced legislation that would expand Pell Grants for students attending college, and offered language that would increase apprenticeship opportunities for students across the country.
I will continue elevating the education issues that my constituents care about most and will work with my colleagues to make important investments in education.
Higher Education Act Reauthorization
The broad legislation that controls postsecondary education in our country is called the Higher Education Act (HEA), and last December, Republicans introduced the PROSPER Act to reauthorize the HEA.
During a marathon 14-hour committee hearing to renew this bill, I put forth legislative language that would strengthen access to higher education opportunities and protect students.
I was disheartened to see the Republican PROSPER Act which would make college even more unattainable for middle class students. That is why I introduced several amendments to improve the bill.
I offered my Pell Grant Preservation and Expansion Act as an amendment which would improve the purchasing power of Pell grants, permanently index the maximum grant to inflation, and expand eligibility for DREAMers and students who have been defrauded by predatory schools.
As the Republican PROSPER Act was revealed, I heard from countless sexual assault survivors and advocates on the negative impact that the legislation would have for safety on campuses. I moved to strike damaging language from the bill which would weaken efforts to report sexual assaults and interfere with the ability of colleges and universities to investigate sexual assault.
Businesses and educators agree - we must expand apprenticeship opportunities so that all students have access to high paying jobs, regardless of their education pathway. I offered an amendment to keep apprenticeship quality while maintaining flexibility for other earn-and-learn programs.
Recognizing the importance of investments in international education experiences, I also pushed to protect and invest in foreign language and cultural programs which would be significantly cut in the Republican proposal.
Advocating for College Affordability
Speaking with students at SDSU.
Education is the foundation for upward mobility in our country. Far too many students are saddled by debt for decades after they complete their education. This means that our young people avoid buying homes, starting families, and investing in our communities.
Student Financial Aid:
Congress must work to make college affordable for students. Beyond introducing my Pell Grant legislation this year, I also reintroduced my Loan Prepayment and Eliminating Origination Fees to ensure that borrowers repay their loans under favorable terms.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness:
I fought to preserve the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program which has encouraged thousands of promising young people to serve their communities and our country. This program helps teachers, social workers, and other public servants pay manage their student debt as they pursue careers have lower average salaries.
Predatory For-Profit Schools:
Too many bad actors in the for-profit industry are defrauding students for the benefit of their bottom line. We must stop this abuse of taxpayer dollars, and reinvest resources in a higher education infrastructure that benefits students, not corporations.
Campus Sexual Assault Prevention
Speaking out for Title IX protections with House Democratic Women.
Every student deserves to feel safe on campus, and every parent should have the peace of mind that their child will be safe at school. This year, I convened events with survivors and advocates so that we could hear from the experts on how to best protect students.
I reintroduced legislation to create an independent on-campus advocate to help survivors of campus sexual assault navigate the administrative, legal, medical, and emotional challenges that result from an assault.
My colleagues and I held a press conference to speak out on behalf of concerned students who feel forgotten by the Department of Education. I also wrote a letter to Secretary DeVos asking her to meet with survivors of sexual assault and their families to better understand the impact of Title IX.
Keeping these protections is something I’m deeply passionate about and I’ll continue working so that our students can feel safe at school.
Focus on Apprenticeships
Listening to apprentices at Solar Turbines.
The definition of higher education should be broadened to include quality workforce development programs. Congress must listen to the call of businesses and students alike who want apprenticeship opportunities that close the skills gap and provide high wages for students.
I have had the opportunity to visit and meet with some of San Diego's most successful apprenticeship programs. Apprentices at SDG&E, MTS, and Solar Turbines spoke to me about what drew them to an apprenticeship program.
I am working on legislation that would expand apprenticeship opportunities, and work to raise the profile and prestige of these important workforce programs. I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to bring resources and attention to quality apprenticeship programs.
2018 Year Ahead
As I continue to serve as the Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on Education and Workforce Development, I will fight to ensure that every child in American has access to a quality education. That means making higher education more affordable, keeping campuses safe from sexual assault and hate crimes, and protecting students and taxpayers from fraud.
I'd like to know what you think about Congress's education priorities for the upcoming year. Please take my survey to voice your opinion.
Sponsored Education Bills
Here is a list of bills that I have sponsored in the 115th Congress. You may click on the links to read the text and learn more information about each bill.
- Student Loan Fair Prepayment Act
- Eliminating the Hidden Student Loan Tax Act
- Middle School STEP Act
- SOS Campus Act
- Pell Preservation and Expansion Act
- Empowering Educators to Prevent Trafficking Act
- National Principals Month Resolution
- National Mentoring Month Resolution