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Educating Our Children
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"When it comes to education, one size doesn’t fit all."

Sen. Barbara Mikulski

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Preparing Our Children for the Future


Our most important resource is our children. We need to put our values in the federal law books and in the federal checkbook.


Educating the children who will make up tomorrow’s workforce is vital to creating and sustaining jobs. That’s why I was so proud to work with the Senate’s Education Committee to make the greatest reforms to education in a decade. The committee recently approved bipartisan legislation that improves and updates the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.  


As Chairwoman of the Children and Families Subcommittee, I fought hard to ensure that this bill puts students first while making long-overdue changes to our education system.


I am proud that this bill includes the goals and proposals of legislation I introduced earlier this year to encourage strong partnerships between schools, students, families and communities to promote student success. What our children face outside of the classroom has an impact on how they do inside the classroom.


The bill also focuses on students’ growth and individual achievement. Every child, no matter if they’re performing three grade levels below their peers or three grade levels above, will be expected to improve every single year – no exceptions, no complacency.


Our country is founded on the idea that intelligence is randomly distributed in our population. That’s why I fought to ensure that support for gifted and talented programs as well as teachers was included so that our nation’s brightest minds will get brighter each year.


Finally, this bill makes important changes that will help students to be college- and career-ready. It lets states figure out the best way to improve schools that need the most help while rewarding schools that are high-performing.


I have always said that the best ideas come from the people. Washington doesn’t have all the answers when it comes to improving our schools, supporting our teachers or knowing what kids need to succeed. That’s why I’ve spent the past year in classrooms all across Maryland, in our rural schools along the coast and in Appalachia, as well as our large urban and suburban schools.


The message of parents, teachers, students and administrators was clear: provide secure funding for students, mitigate the burden on teachers and recognize that each school is unique and solutions need to be tailor-fit to their challenges. They told me that a one-size-fits-all approach to education was not working and that they hoped Congress would come together to provide our schools with the flexibility and resources needed to help our next generation succeed. And that’s exactly what this legislation will begin to do.


If we educate and prepare our children well, they can be anything. If we do not, they may well fail – and we will have failed them. This bipartisan legislation will take us one step closer to success.