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

January 13, 2022 Press Release

MEMPHIS – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today announced that the University of Memphis will receive a $198,766 grant from the National Science Foundation for a project entitled “ERI: Formation Mechanisms and Modeling of Wake Meandering in Wind Farms.” The work is under the director of Dr. Daniel Foti in the Mechanical Engineering Department.

January 13, 2022 Press Release

MEMPHIS – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) announced today that three Memphis area arts organizations will share $45,000 in National Endowment for the Arts grants. Creative Aging Memphis will receive $10,000 for art projects and multidisciplinary works; Indie Memphis will receive $20,000 for media arts projects; and the University of Memphis will receive $15,000 to research the availability of grants in the arts.

January 5, 2022 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today announced that the University of Memphis will be receiving a $700,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for a project entitled “CAREER: Exocyclic Imine Ligands for Electron Transfer” under the direction of Dr. Kensha Clark in the Department of Chemistry.

January 3, 2022 Press Release

MEMPHIS – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today announced that Porter-Leath Inc. will receive a $1,251,110 grant to operate its Early Head Start Programs in Shelby County from the Administration for Children and Families Office of Head Start.

Congressman Cohen made the following statement:

December 16, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Representatives Steve Cohen (TN-09) and Anna G. Eshoo (CA-18) released the following statement after the White House released just 1,500 documents related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, leaving more than 10,000 documents either partially redacted or withheld entirely:

December 9, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) tonight applauded the Senate’s passage of his bill renaming the Memphis federal building exclusively for the late Judge Odell Horton. The measure, which removes the name of the late Congressman and segregationist Clifford Davis, now goes to President Biden to be signed into law.

December 8, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, today voted to advance the Emmett Till Antilynching Act to the full House of Representatives. He also spoke in favor of the bill, and on Memphis’ history with lynchings, before the vote.

In his remarks, Congressman Cohen said in part:

December 8, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today announced that the University of Memphis will receive a grant of $181,745 from the National Science Foundation for a project entitled “ERI: Compositionally modulated ferrimagnets for spin-orbitronic devices.” The research is under the direction of Shawn Pollard, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics and Materials Science.

December 8, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, today urged Committee colleagues to address violent felonies and support community policing. The remarks came during the markup of the Homicide Victims Families Rights Act.

In his remarks, Congressman Cohen said in part:

December 8, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) addressed the House of Representatives this morning to celebrate the induction of his childhood hero, Minnie Minoso, into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Congressman Cohen, who first met Minoso in 1955, has advocated for his induction for decades.

In his floor speech, Congressman Cohen said in part: