Sen. Brian Schatz has announced he will be co-sponsoring a number of bills to unlock Hawaii students’ full potential by expanding early education, providing more counseling and after school opportunities, fostering excellent educators, and modernizing schools.
“In order to build a better future for Hawaii, we must begin with our students,” Schatz said. “We know so much about how to help students achieve their full potential, and the federal government can do more to help states provide the conditions for students’ success. For example, we know that children who have access to early childhood education are much more likely to succeed in school and after they graduate. We also see real classroom results when we give our teachers relevant and timely training. These bills would give states more resources in the areas that really matter so that our kids have greater opportunities to succeed.”
The Senator is an official co-sponsor of the following bills:
Pre-K and Early Childhood Education
* The Senator has co-sponsored S.322, Ready to Learn Act, S. 519, the PRE-K Act or Providing Resources Early for Kids Act of 2013, and S. 502 (112th S. 1156), the Prepare All Kids Act of 2013, which provide funds to support full-day pre-kindergarten programs that use nationally-recognized best practices for early childhood education and reach low-income and under-served children.
Counseling and After School Opportunities
* Because counseling and guidance for students is critical for their success, the Senator co-sponsored S. 282, the Counseling for Career Choice Act, which would provide competitive grants to states to develop comprehensive counseling programs that give students effective career guidance and planning for after graduation.
* The Senator co-sponsored S.195, Mental Health in Schools Act of 2013 and S.648, Helping Educators Support All Students Act to provide students with access to school-based comprehensive mental health programs and train teachers and school professionals on awareness of student mental health conditions.
* The Senator also co-sponsored S. 326 (112th S. 1370), the After School for America’s Children Act, to extend and improve the 21st Century Community Learning Centers after school program. Currently over 5,600 children in Hawaii participate in after school activities through 21st Century Learning Centers, and studies show that their participation improved their homework completion, class participation, attendance, and behavior.
Fostering Excellent Educators
* The Senator co-sponsored a number of bills to foster excellent educators. S.358, STEM Master Teacher Corps Act of 2013 and S. 456, the Annual National Classified School Employee of the Year Award Act recognize excellent educators and schools professionals and encourage them to become leaders. S. 441, the Professional Development for Educators Act of 2013 funds high-quality professional development for educators to create a culture of continuing improvement.
Modernizing Our Schools
* For Hawaii students to be able to compete nationally and globally, particularly in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, their schools must be world-class. The Senator co-sponsored S. 439, the Career and Technical Education Facilities Modernization Act, because it provides support to school districts, community colleges, and other education institutions for modernizing, renovating, or repairing facilities used to provide STEM, career, and technical education.