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Congressman Pete Sessions

Representing the 32nd District of Texas

Education & Special Education

I believe that education is first, last and always about our children. Every child, regardless of family income, should have the opportunity to receive a quality education. However, education is at a crisis in our country. Years of little accountability within America’s public school system have left students largely unprepared to compete in today’s global economy.

It is a widely-shared sentiment that schools need to do a better job of preparing students for the workplace. I believe that the federal government should get out of the education business and give the power to parents and the state and local authorities, who best know the curriculum. We need to increase the role of parents in the day-to-day education of their children and decrease the role of Washington. Parents should have the tools available to them to provide the best possible education for their children.

Education is not an issue we can just throw money at. No matter how much money that local, state and the federal governments designate for education, many children in the United States are seemingly unable to improve their test scores on performance exams. The real problem lies in any opposition to reform and competition and entrenched special interests in the education sector.

For too long, states and school districts have been inundated with federal intervention and bureaucratic red tape that has done little to improve student performance. It is time to eliminate wasteful and duplicative federal programs and grant states and local school districts the freedom to direct federal resources to the programs that best serve their students.

High standards, accountability for results, local control, transparency and parental choice are essential to improving our education system. I support efforts to return educational decision-making to parents, teachers, and local school administrators. I also strongly support legislation to require that 95 percent of all federal education dollars be spent in the classroom—not on regulation and bureaucracy in Washington, D.C. 

I also support continued diversity and choice in our higher education system in order to best prepare today’s students to join tomorrow’s workforce. Although in recent years, President Obama and Democrats acted to increase the federal role in higher education, I am committed to reevaluating and reducing the federal role in higher education. Federal intervention in higher education should increasingly be focused not solely on financial aid, but on policies that maximize innovation and ensure a robust menu of options from which students and their families are able to choose. We must continue to pursue sensible policies that encourage competition, enhance transparency and simplify regulatory burden that often contributes to cost increases on campus.

In the 114th Congress, I was proud to have supported the passage of important legislation that is the first step in reversing the failed policies of No Child Left Behind and gutting Common Core:

Public Law 114-095, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA): On December 2, 2015, I supported and the House passed ESSA by a vote of 359 to 64. It was soon thereafter signed into law by President Obama. ESSA includes reforms that will stop Washington from imposing Common Core or any other academic standards on states. Specifically, ESSA: (1) Unequivocally ends the federal government’s role in coercing state adoption and implementation of Common Core; (2) Prevents any future administration from using tools like Race to the Top or waivers of federal law to entice or coerce states into adopting Common Core or any specific education standards; (3) Ends top-down No Child Left Behind policies that judged our schools solely by students’ test results and restores to states the responsibility for determining how to use testing for accountability purposes; (4) Strengthens state and local control by prohibiting the federal government from determining or approving any state standards; (5) Ends the Secretary of Education’s waivers program and prohibits the Secretary from mandating additional requirements for states or school districts seeking waivers from federal law; (6) Strengthens charter schools by providing grants to state entities and charter management organizations to start new charter schools and to replicate or expand high-quality charter schools. I am excited to have restored state control to our education system, empowering our state and local leaders while simultaneously removing unworkable, one-size-fits-all federal standards. 

More on Education & Special Education

September 9, 2010 Press Release

U.S. Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX-32) today congratulated Dover Elementary School in Richardson, Texas on being named a 2010 National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.

“I congratulate Dover Elementary on becoming a National Blue Ribbon School, earning notable honors through many hours of hard work and a steadfast commitment to attaining excellence in education,” said Sessions. “I’m proud of Dover Elementary’s achievements as a school dedicated to helping each child realize his or her full learning potential.” 

August 11, 2009 Press Release

Dallas, TX – Congressman Pete Sessions (TX-32) today released the following statement regarding the passing of Eunice Kennedy Shriver:

April 24, 2009 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Pete Sessions (TX-32) today announced the results of the 2009 Congressional High School Art Competition for the 32nd District of Texas.

March 30, 2009 Press Release

Washington, DC – U.S. Congressman Pete Sessions (R-Dallas) today announced the DFW Metroplex U.S. Service Academy Forum, a congressionally sponsored U.S. Service Academy information event for North Texas high school students interested in lea rning more about Academy opportunities.

March 13, 2009 Weekly Newsletters

This week in Washington, President Obama signed into law a $410 billion omnibus spending bill to fund government operations for the remaining six months of the 2009 fiscal year. Filled with wasteful and duplicative spending, the bill represents an eight percent spending increase over last fiscal year’s costs. And when added to the trillion dollar stimulus bill, this Democratic Congress has spent an average of over 80 percent more money per department than last fiscal year.

March 6, 2009 Weekly Newsletters
Today in Washington, the Department of Labor reported that unemployment escalated to 8.1 percent last month—representing a 25-year high as the U.S. economy lost an additional 651,000 jobs. These numbers represent a painful reality for the millions of American families who have experienced job loss in the last few months.

March 6, 2009 Press Release

Dallas, TXU.S. Congressman Pete Sessions (R-Dallas) has announced the 2009 Congressional High School Art Competition for students of the 32nd Congressional District of Texas.

February 20, 2009 Weekly Newsletters

Last week, Congress remained in recess for a District Work Period, allowing me to spend the week in Texas meeting with constituents, business leaders, and other government officials about local and national issues.

February 8, 2009 Press Release
Washington, DC – U.S. Congressman Pete Sessions (R-Dallas) on Sunday, February 8 visited the United Parcel Service (UPS) facilities at the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport with students from the Texas Leadership Forum (TLF). Sponsored by Dallas-based Today Foundation, TLF is an innovative, dynamic program that seeks to foster civic involvement, leadership and character building in select high school students while also educating them about government and public policy.
 
December 19, 2008 Press Release
Dallas, Texas – U.S. Congressman Pete Sessions (R-Dallas) today announced a $1,441,786 Department of Education grant for Mountain View College (MVC) for the STEM Infrastructure program to increase the number of Hispanic and low-income students who attain degrees in the fields of science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM).