#StuckInTheSenate: Solutions to Make Education More Affordable & Accessible

John Boehner

This is the fifth post in our series exploring the jobs bills Senate Democrats are blocking.  Catch up on previous posts about protecting full-time jobs, veterans’ hiring, time flexibility, and the Keystone XL pipeline. You can also just watch this Vine

Problem: With school back in session, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and his team have been highlighting the challenges students face gaining access to a quality, affordable education.  Did you know that, this past year, nearly a million kids wanted to attend a school of their choice but couldn’t?  Or that, in addition to the skyrocketing cost of college, the price tag for early childhood education has jumped by more than $1,000 over the last decade? 

Our Solutions: Last month, the House passed three bipartisan bills to address the cost of college: H.R. 3136, H.R. 4983, and H.R. 4984.  Also in that stack of jobs bills we’ve sent the Senate is H.R. 3393, a bill that would make it easier for families to utilize tax credits to make college more affordable.  And in May, the House passed – on an overwhelming bipartisan basis – H.R. 10, legislation to strengthen and expand access to the successful Charter School Program.  All of these bills harken back to something Speaker Boehner said at a charter school rally in the spring: “If we’re going to have a strong economy for our future, we’ve got to make sure that we find a way to educate more of America’s kids.”

Senate Inaction: It is unclear” whether Senate Democrats will join our bipartisan majority for charter schools.  They have also failed to act on any legislation to make college more affordable.  And remember, all Senate Democrats have planned for September is “a slew of do-over votes” – no action on new ideas.

Consequences: The less access young people have to a quality, affordable education, the harder it will be for them to get a good start in the real world.  One expert said, “We risk really having this lost generation of workers.  And what that means in terms of the economy’s ability to innovate and compete, when you’ve kind of wasted the talents of some substantial portion of a generation, is really, it’s alarming.”

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