Education

Education is a priority for families in the Ninth District. I am honored to represent the district’s many schools, enrichment centers, and institutions of higher education. Education has been one of the focal points of my career, and I believe everyone should have access to a quality education.

For nearly 20 years, I worked tirelessly as a Tennessee State Senator to initiate and pass the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship program to fund college scholarships, after-school programs, and pre-K education for Tennessee’s students.  Since the inception of the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship program in 2004, over $4 billion has gone to Tennessee students continuing their education at the college level.

Today, I am proud to continue working to improve education in the U.S. House of Representatives. Throughout my career in Congress, I have introduced legislation aimed at improving educational access and standards for students of all ages.

FUNDING AND ACCESS

I introduced the Private Student Loan Bankruptcy Act (H.R. 1674).  The bill ensures privately issued student loans will once again be treated like other consumer debt and be dischargeable in bankruptcy.  Due to changes Congress made to bankruptcy laws 10 years ago, student loans made by private, for-profit lenders are currently very difficult to discharge in bankruptcy.

I introduced the bipartisan Protecting Our Students and Taxpayers (POST) Act (H.R. 4101). This bill helps stop for-profit colleges from aggressively targeting veterans and active-duty service members by eliminating the powerful financial incentives that cause them to do so.

PERFORMANCE

I introduced the Protections and Regulation for Our (PRO) Students Act (H.R. 2192) with my colleagues to protect.  This bill protects students from deceitful practices and bad actors in the for-profit college industry.  It provides stricter guidelines for colleges, ensures that students have access to important and accurate information and data, strengthens oversight and regulation, and holds schools accountable for violations and poor performance.

I am a co-sponsor of the Put School Counselors Where They’re Needed Act (H.R.2022).  This bill authorizes a demonstration program to place additional professional secondary school counselors in high schools with drop-out rates of 40 percent or more. 

I introduced the Restorative Justice in Schools Act , which would amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) to allow local educational agencies to use the funds to provide professional development activities that train school personnel to use restorative justice as a means of conflict resolution. Restorative justice is a method that aims to resolve conflicts between students in a manner that focuses on the victim and the offender of a wrong-doing.  Unlike traditional punishment, this can prevent the use of penalties such as incarceration that are often times, too harsh, expensive, and counter-productive, leading to repeat offenses. The amendment passed the House on July 8, 2015 and similar language was included in the final bill, which President Obama signed into law on December 10, 2015.  

I introduced the Positive Reduction of Incarceration by Maximizing Education (PRIME) Act, which is a means to promote the choice of education vs. incarceration.  About one in every ten young male high school dropouts is in jail or juvenile detention, compared with one in thirty-five young male high school graduates. This legislation arises out of research that has demonstrated increased education is directly related to reduce incarceration.   America's youth must be exposed to the concrete benefits of academic accomplishment.

SAFTEY

I cosponsored The Keeping All Students Safe Act (H.R. 4247), in order to prevent and reduce the use of physical restraint and seclusion in schools. This act will protect our youth from physical or mental abuse, aversive behavioral interventions that compromise health and safety, and any physical restraint or seclusion imposed solely for purposes of discipline or convenience, in order to ensure physical restraint and seclusion are imposed in school only when a student's behavior poses an imminent danger of physical injury to the student, school personnel, or others.

TEACHERS

I introduced the Maximizing Opportunity and Retaining Experienced Teachers Act (MORE Teachers Act) to help address teacher shortages and retain qualified, experienced teachers. The legislation, which is supported by both the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, would make teachers who teach in geographic areas with teacher shortages and those who teach an underserved subject matter eligible for up to $17,500 of federal loan forgiveness if they stay in their position for 5 years.

More on Education

November 17, 2020 Press Release

MEMPHIS – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today announced that the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) will receive a $228,000 grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for research on biosynthetic enzymes.

Congressman Cohen made the following statement:

“I’m pleased to announce this significant funding for ongoing research at our medical school, which will both improve health outcomes and keep scientists in their labs working to save lives.”

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November 10, 2020 Press Release

MEMPHIS -- Congressman Steve Cohen released the following statement commemorating this year’s Veterans Day:  

“Each November, we pause to pay special tribute to the brave men and women who have served our country in uniform. This year, we also commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II and cherish our few remaining heroes of that conflict. 

November 2, 2020 Press Release

Score based on votes during the 116th Congress

October 28, 2020 Press Release

 

MEMPHIS – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today expressed his deep concern about a Trump administration executive order in light of the University of Memphis’ decision to suspend certain employee sensitivity training that could jeopardize federal funding. The September 22 Executive Oder 13950 purports to prohibit training that “promotes race or sex stereotyping or scapegoating.”

Congressman Cohen made the following statement:

October 1, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) tonight voted for the updated Heroes Act, which contains many of the provisions he has fought hard to have included in the measure addressing our ongoing health and economic catastrophe to protect lives, livelihoods and the life of our democracy. The $2.2 trillion measure is a scaled down version of the Heroes Act the House passed on May 15 but which the Senate has so far failed to consider.

Tonight’s vote on passage was 214 to 207.

Congressman Cohen made the following statement:

October 1, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today announced that Foxmar Inc., doing business as Education and Training Resources, has received a contract to operate the Benjamin L. Hooks Job Corps Center from the U.S. Department of Labor. The Center provides skills training, education and career transition services for 287 students. The contract is valued at $57,486,557 over five years.

Congressman Cohen made the following statement:

September 29, 2020 Press Release

 

MEMPHIS – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) released the following statement on learning of the passing of Father Nicholas Vieron, the retired pastor of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, earlier today:

September 28, 2020 Press Release

MEMPHIS – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) this evening enthusiastically endorsed an updated Heroes Act to address the ongoing health and economic catastrophe with much-needed assistance to protect lives, livelihoods and the life of our democracy. The $2.2 trillion measure is a scaled down version of the Heroes Act the House passed four months ago but which the Senate has failed to consider.

Congressman Cohen made the following statement:

September 17, 2020 Press Release

MEMPHIS – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, today commemorated Constitution Day. September 17 marks the 233rd anniversary of the formal signing of the U.S. Constitution in 1787 and has been variously known as “Constitution Day,” “Citizenship Day” and, since 2004, as “Constitution Day and Citizenship Day.”

Congressman Cohen made the following statement:

September 16, 2020 Press Release

MEMPHIS – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today announced the National Institutes of Health have awarded significant grants to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC). St. Jude will receive $2,101,865 from the National Cancer Institute for work on telehealth-based exercises for childhood cancer survivors. UTHSC will receive $418,384 for clinical research into neurological disorders from the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Congressman Cohen made the following statement: