The federal government has focused too much on throwing money at education without really evaluating whether that money has helped achieve results. The reality is that while federal spending on education has steadily increased over the years, student achievement has flat-lined. It is time to take a more innovative approach.
In May of 2014, I introduced H.R. 4700 which aims to help graduates tackle their student loan repayments. The bill would allow America’s students and graduates to deduct up to $5,000 of interest payments on qualified student loans from their taxes annually. This is an increase from the $2,500 allowed under current tax code. Increasing this deduction will help ease the financial burden that many students and graduates face as they work to find employment and build a strong foundation for their financial future. I have also supported several other pieces of legislation which aim to improve education for the next generation of Americans. I am a staunch supporter of the Student Success Act, which repeals arbitrary funding requirements for public schools and gives states and local school districts the ability to implement their own education standards. States and our communities are better equipped than the federal government to make these kinds of decisions.
I have also worked to give more Americans the opportunity to attend college by introducing H.R.1032, the Making College Affordable Act. This bipartisan bill increases the tax-exempt contribution that can be made to a Coverdell Education Savings Account (ESA) by students and families saving for college. Additionally, I voted in favor of legislation that fixes the student loan interest rate and ties it to a market-based rate. This will allow students to take advantage of the historically low interest rates available to borrowers today.
In supporting these measures, I aim to provide more students with the opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful in our great country.