Educating Our Children

2013-06-14 16:41:06
<> JUNE 2013 In This Issue Education and Childcare Useful Links Fast Facts


JUNE 2013

In This Issue
Education and Childcare
Useful Links
Fast Facts

"As our nation continues to look at how best to create jobs, how best to sustain jobs and how best to support high-paying jobs, we must look at how best to educate the children who will make up tomorrow's workforce."

Sen. Barbara Mikulski

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Fighting for Safe, Affordable & Accessible Child Care and Education Families Can Count On 

I believe that in America, education is one of the most important rungs on the opportunity ladder. That journey starts with safe child care that helps give our kids the greatest chance at success, includes K-12 education families can count on, and leads to accessible and affordable higher education. That’s why I’m fighting for three important pieces of legislation to help families from child care to college.

Child Care Development Block Grant

This month I introduced a bipartisan bill to refresh and reform the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) program. This crucial program helps ensure access to quality, affordable child care for working-class families, supporting more than 1.6 million children each month. As a social worker, I’ve seen the impact that quality care has on children and families. It helps working parents keep working, it helps parents who are in school stay in school, and it is supposed to ensure that children are in safe environments that support their physical, emotional and cognitive development. 

We now know that it’s not simply enough to provide children with a place to go, we must ensure that the place they go is a safe environment that helps support their overall development and prepares them for school.  That’s why my bill focuses on quality improvements for child care programs, training and professional development of the child care workforce, and ensuring that parents have more information about child care programs and providers.  Further, my bill will give parents peace of mind knowing that their child is safe by requiring mandatory background checks for child care providers and ensuring that CCDBG providers meet certain health and safety requirements.

Elementary and Secondary Education Act

This week, the Senate HELP committee passed the Strengthening America’s Schools Act, a bill I cosponsored to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and replace the failed tenets of No Child Left Behind.  The bill provides a framework to get all children to graduate from high school with the knowledge and skills needed for success in college and a career. It does this by supporting teachers and principals to help provide high-quality instruction, ensuring disadvantaged students get the support they need to succeed, and focusing federal attention on supporting states and districts in turning around low-performing schools and closing achievement gaps.

Stafford Student Loan Rates

And I believe that part of the American dream is access to an affordable college education.

Just last week, I voted to stop federal Stafford student loan rates from doubling on July 1st, from 3.4 to 6.8 percent. That’s an average hike of $1,000 for more than 105,000 Maryland students. This fully paid-for legislation will help middle class families who are being squeezed by rising tuition costs. This bill is being filibustered in the Senate. I’ll keep voting for it because when students graduate, their first mortgage shouldn’t be their student debt.


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Senator Mikulski In Action

Mikulski"Announces Committee Passage of Bill to Prepare All Children for Success and Fix "No Child Left Behind"
Senator"Mikulski Cosponsors Bill to Prevent Rate Hike on Student Loans
Senator"Mikulski Introduces Bipartisan Reauthorization of Child Care and Development Block Grant to Help American Families Access Safe, Affordable, Quality Child Care
Senator"Mikulski Legislation Which Requires Comprehensive Background Checks for Child Care Providers
Senator"Mikulski Introduces Bill to Help Parents get Information on High-Quality Local Child Care
Senator"Mikulski Protests New HHS Rule on Children's Dental Health

Other Useful Links

National"Center for Education Statistics

Fast Facts About Maryland Schools

* Number of Schools: 1,475
* Number of Students: 848,412
* Number of Teachers: 58,235
* Pupil / Teacher Ratio: 14.5

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