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

May 7, 2021 Press Release

 

WASHINGTON – Representatives Steve Cohen (TN-09), Barbara Lee (CA-13) and Bobby L. Rush (IL-01) will hold a virtual forum on the FBI’s notorious COINTELPRO program recently featured in the Academy Award-winning film “Judas and the Black Messiah,” which dramatizes the FBI-orchestrated assassination of Black Panther Party leader Fred Hampton in 1969. The forum will be on Monday, May 10, from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Eastern time.

May 7, 2021 Press Release

MEMPHIS – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today announced that St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) will receive research grants from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. The grant to St. Jude, for $448,750, is for work on interneuron circuits in the spinal motor system. The grant to UTHSC, for $154,000, is for genetic research involving mice.

Congressman Cohen made the following statement:

April 28, 2021 Press Release

MEMPHIS – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), a senior member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, watched President Biden’s address to a joint session of Congress this evening and made the following statement:

April 28, 2021 Press Release

MEMPHIS -- Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today announced that Porter-Leath Inc. will receive a $110,456 emergency supplemental grant to operate its Head Start Programs in Shelby County from the Administration for Children and Families Office of Head Start.

Congressman Cohen made the following statement:

April 27, 2021 Press Release

MEMPHIS – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today announced that the University of Memphis will receive two grants from the National Science Foundation totaling $918,830. The first grant, for $443,830, involves tectonic modeling and earthquake cycles. The second, for $475,000, supports research on “water catalyzed by molecular cobalt complexes.”

Congressman Cohen made the following statement:

April 27, 2021 Press Release

MEMPHIS – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today announced that the Shelby County Board of Education will receive an emergency supplemental grant of $963,101 for Head Start from the Department of Health and Human Services.

Congressman Cohen made the following statement:

April 20, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, released this statement after a Minneapolis jury convicted former Officer Derek Chauvin of the murder of George Floyd.

“The jury has spoken and justice has been served.”

Congressman Cohen, the Chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties, was a co-sponsor and voted for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act which includes provisions for police accountability that he authored.

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April 20, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today announced that the University of Memphis will receive a grant of $349,813 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for a project entitled “Ending the HIV Stigma Syndemic: Reframing Health Education for Southern Black Churches.”

Congressman Cohen made the following statement:

“I’m pleased that the University of Memphis is taking on the challenge of HIV stigma. This project may help open eyes and lead to better health and social outcomes.”

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April 9, 2021 Press Release

MEMPHIS – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today announced that the University of Memphis will receive a $298,619 grant from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering to study magnetic resonance imaging involving liver disease.

Congressman Cohen made the following statement:

“I’m pleased  that the University of Memphis is receiving this research grant to continue its important work in biomedical imaging.”

April 7, 2021 Press Release

MEMPHIS – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today announced that the University of Memphis will receive a $179,375 grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences for research on the effects of environmental health hazards on the aryl hydrocarbon receptor regulating gene expression.

Congressman Cohen made the following statement:

“I’m pleased that the National Institutes of Health continue to direct significant research funding to the U of M. This grant will contribute to important work in environmental health and genetic science.”