Improving Education, Expanding Choice for Families

John Boehner

As Speaker Boehner said in March, “In America, a good education is the great equalizer, something that gives our children the chance to fulfill their potential no matter how they fared in the lottery of life.” Ensuring that every child has the opportunity to achieve the American Dream starts with providing access to quality education—it’s an essential building block for creating stronger communities, a stronger economy, and more jobs.

The House has offered real solutions that will improve education, expand choice and increase opportunity for all Americans, and will continue to do so.  As part of this effort, in advance of National Charter School Week in early May, Republicans around the country are visiting schools in their districts and seeing firsthand the life-changing work being accomplished by local teachers and parents. And just a couple weeks ago, the House Education the Workforce Committee approved a bipartisan bill, the Success and Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Act (H.R. 10), to support the growth of high-performing charter schools. We’re going to keep pushing for real progress, giving parents and students greater opportunities to attend high-performing, quality schools regardless of their zip code. 

More than five years after President Obama signed his ill-conceived economic ‘stimulus’ package into law, the country has received the exact opposite of what he promised.  Economic growth remains sluggish at best, participation in the workforce is at a historical low, and the number of Americans unable to find a job remains stubbornly high. It’s easy to see that this Administration’s top-down, Washington-knows-best approach simply hasn’t worked, despite numerous second chances.

So, Democrats predictably announce a renewed focus on the economy every few months. But time and time again, Americans have seen these ‘pivots’ quickly abandoned in favor of recycled campaign-year gimmicks and political pet initiatives. These measures rarely even pretend to address the problems of inequality and economic mobility at their roots.

It’s no wonder that party strategists’ latest advice for Nancy Pelosi and her allies is pretty bleak: stop talking about an economic “recovery.”

They may be out of ideas, but House Republicans sure aren’t. We’re focused like a laser. The House has passed dozens of jobs bills that are still waiting to be considered by the Senate. They deserve a vote.

Take the Student Success Act (H.R. 5) for example. It would help prioritize resources for programs that actually work, and get rid of those that don’t. It would streamline and modernize the federal education system by eliminating needless duplication.  And it would empower and protect parents, administrators and teachers from overreach by Washington bureaucrats.

The SKILLS Act (H.R. 803) is also being blocked by Harry Reid’s Senate. It’s another bill that will help expand opportunity, specifically for American workers currently underserved by an outdated, unaccountable maze of job training programs.

It’s time for President Obama and Democrats in Congress to abandon their obstruction of the House’s jobs and education bills and work with us to strengthen the economy and grow good-paying jobs.

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