Education & Workforce Development

Education is the key to freedom. As an educator for more than 40 years, I saw firsthand how a good education can change the course of a student’s life, regardless of their race, religion, or economic circumstances. But right now, K-12 education in the U.S. is stagnating: we’re 37th in the world in math and 13th in reading. That’s simply not good enough for the most powerful country in the world.

We need to make more quality education options available for students that fit their unique needs and unlock their God-given potential, rather than force everyone into a one-size-fits-all system.

On the higher education side, our country needs to do a much better job of preparing students to enter the workforce. That starts by recognizing not everyone needs to attend a traditional four-year college, but everyone has the right to an opportunity. Career and technical education programs like dual enrollment and apprenticeships should be recognized as the respectable paths for opportunity that they are, not treated as second-rate. I will continue to advocate for workforce development as a means to increasing opportunities and spurring economic growth. I’m committed to working with my colleagues to promote and invest in the educational programs that will open up the doors of opportunity and equip students with the skills they need to succeed in 21st-century jobs.

When it comes to school sports, we need to make sure the Title IX rights of women and girls are protected. Title IX is the single best contributor to the growth of women’s’ and girls’ sports at every level, but it’s under assault from progressive activists and government bureaucrats. I’ll always fight to protect the integrity of women’s and girls’ sports so they can have the same opportunities afforded to their male counterparts.

Making a Difference

My first speech as a U.S. Senator highlighted my desire to focus on improving education for all students and set them up for success in and out of the classroom. WATCH

School choice ensures all students have access to the same educational opportunities, regardless of their zip code. That is why I have taken action while serving on the U.S. Senate Help, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee to expand school choice for students. 

  • introduced the CHOICE Act with my colleague, Senator Mike Lee, which would allow low-income families with children in grades K-12 to use federal education funds for educational options that best fit their needs. The Children Have Opportunities in Classrooms Everywhere Act (CHOICE) would allow low-income families with children in grades K-12 to apply for federal education funds that they can choose to put towards the public school in which their children are enrolled, or towards an education savings account, known as a 529 account. Additionally, the CHOICE Act would expand the qualified expenses for 529 accounts so that they could go towards private school tuition, virtual learning, tutoring, homeschooling curriculums, therapy services, and more. 
  • joined my colleagues in urging the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) to reconsider proposed rules to redefine the Charter School Program (CSP) and strip parents of their ability to choose the best school for their child.
    • “After teachers’ unions spent the pandemic keeping public schools closed while many charter schools stayed open, it is particularly appalling that the Department is working aggressively to limit charter school options for families in need,” we wrote.
  • I have advocated for school choice on the floor of the U.S. Senate and helped introduce a resolution for National School Choice Week. 

State and local governments are better equipped than the federal government to tailor education programs to meet the needs of the children they serve. As a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee, my goal is to advance legislation that gets the federal government out of the way.

  • joined my colleagues in introducing the Head Start Improvement Act, which would improve the Head Start program by eliminating bureaucracy and giving money directly to states through block grants. 
  • This legislation recognizes that reality and would empower parents, community leaders, and state and local officials to improve the outcomes of American children everywhere. 

Education is the key to opportunity and freedom. Students attend school to be taught “how” to think, not “what” they should think. Taxpayer dollars should not go toward funding divisive curriculum in the classrooms that teaches students to hate our country. This is why I have pushed back against the left’s attempts to push biased and divisive agendas on our students.

  • I  joined my colleagues in asking the U.S. Department of Education to withdraw their plans to skew U.S. History and Civics towards a biased and divisive agenda. 
    • My colleagues and I wrote to Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona: “Our nation’s youth do not need activist indoctrination that fixates solely on past flaws and splits our nation into divided camps. Taxpayer-supported programs should emphasize the shared civic virtues that bring us together, not push radical agendas that tear us apart.”
    • Read the full letter here.
  • I helped introduce legislation that would prohibit the use of federal funds to teach the 1619 Project in K-12 classrooms.

As a former coach, I have seen the positive impact of Title IX in women’s sports. We must keep Title IX protections in place for current and future female athletes to have the same opportunities as their male counterparts. I’ve stepped up as a leader in the U.S. Senate on the preservation of Title IX protections for female athletes.

  • introduced an amendment to the COVID relief bill that would protect the Title IX rights of women and girls in sports. WATCH
  • I also cosponsored the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act to prohibit federal funds from going to athletic institutions that do not uphold Title IX protections, and ensure that “sex” in Title IX is based “solely on a person’s reproductive biology and gender at birth.” I will continue being a voice of support for Title IX and the female athletes it protects.
  • I pushed President Biden’s Undersecretary of Education nominee on how he would protect the Title IX rights of women and girls in sports. WATCH 
  • spoke about the opportunities provided to female athletes following National Girls and Women in Sports Day, and slammed the National College Athletic Association for refusing to stand up for women’s athletics.
  • participated in a forum with current and former female athletes, where they shared about how Title IX benefited them.