I believe that providing our nation’s children with access to a quality education is important and a direct investment in the future of our country.  As we work to provide children in Alabama with the tools they need for a successful future, we must also prioritize and prepare them to compete in the global marketplace of today.

It is important that we strive to find solutions to reduce unnecessary costs associated with education while continuing to improve its overall quality.  As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and a member of the Labor, Health, and Human Services and Education Subcommittee, I will continue to advocate for the appropriate level of federal support for our nation’s education system.

Common Core

I strongly believe that education decisions are best made at a local level where the needs of students can be identified and met.  While Common Core is not currently a federal program or mandate, I am deeply concerned with states that choose to adopt these standards will enable federal bureaucrats to push for more Washington involvement into our nation’s education system.  Federal intervention into our nation’s education system will lead to bureaucratic red-tape and will ultimately reduce the autonomy of parents and teachers.

Rather than top-down federal mandates, I support efforts to send money directly to the classroom so that state and local officials can address the needs of their communities.  We must also explore new ideas, such as giving parents alternatives to underperforming public schools through the possible use of voucher programs and the promotion of new techniques, such as charter schools, which have proven successful in areas across the country.  More importantly, parental involvement and responsibility is the ultimate recipe for a successful education.