During Public Schools Week, Rep. Costello Highlights Importance of Public Education
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Ryan Costello (R-PA) participated in a bipartisan press conference with Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI), Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), and Bonita Allen, President of the Pennsylvania Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) to highlight Public Schools Week and the importance of public education.
“I was lucky to be the son of two parents who dedicated their careers to public education, which allowed me to see first-hand how a quality public education can shape students not just for a successful career, but a successful life,” Rep. Costello said at the press conference.
Rep. Costello speaks during the Public Schools Week press conference as Bonita Allen, Rep. Bonamici, Rep. Pocan, and Senator Tester listen.
Rep. Costello addressed several efforts he has been working on to support public education:
On preparing students for the modern workforce: “An important focus in public high schools across my District, as well as the country, is preparing students for the modern workforce. I’ve visited with many students in Pennsylvania who are taking advantage of STEM education opportunities both inside and outside the classroom. Last year, at a local high school, Pottstown High School, had a hands-on computer science event with Google. And for students who might not otherwise have access to STEM education, 21st Century Community Learning Centers provide valuable before- and after-school programs that expose students to learning opportunities in science and technology, as well as other in-demand fields. Learning these skills at a young age can equip students with valuable tools and prepare them for opportunities in some of the fastest-growing career fields in the 21st century workforce.” Click here for information on Rep. Costello’s computer science bill.
On supporting public school teachers: “Teachers are committed to working with our children day-in and day-out, helping prepare them for the future and helping them grow into productive members of our community. We must continue to make sure that it is a feasible career path. That is why I’m co-chair of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Caucus to preserve the PSLF Program. As I’m sure you know, the program offers student loan forgiveness on the remaining balance of our teachers’ student loans when they make payments on those loans while working in public service for 10 years. PSLF offers valuable peace of mind to teachers working to repay their student debt.” Click here and here for more information on Rep. Costello’s work on the PSLF program.
On full funding for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): “Fully funding the IDEA, which is something that I support in the House. And if you look, and all of you know this, the ballooning cost of special education - when the federal government doesn’t even keep pace with what that cost is, it crunches school districts that much more. And when you look at how states fund our education system across the country, and the rising costs of the pension obligation, it becomes that much more difficult to fund IDEA. And when you talk about equality to access and equality of opportunity for children, we cannot leave a student behind because we are not funding our IDEA programs the way that they need to be funded.” Click here for information on the IDEA Full Funding Act, which Rep. Costello cosponsors.