9/1/2014 7:09:11 AM
By The People: Elections for the many, not the money

Environmental Education

Congressman Sarbanes has introduced H.R. 2547, the No Child Left Inside Act (NCLI).  NCLI seeks both to improve education in our nation’s public schools and to protect our environment by: creating a new environmental education grant program, providing teacher training for environmental education, and including environmental education as an authorized activity under the Fund for the Improvement of Education.  NCLI also requires states that participate in the environmental education grant program to develop a K-12 plan to ensure high school graduates are environmentally literate.  The legislation is supported by a coalition of over 1900 local, regional, and national organizations representing millions of concerned citizens who are anxious to see a new commitment to environmental education.  Read More »

Robust environmental education is a down payment to grow the next generation of scientists, promote environmental stewardship, and encourage Americans to live healthier lifestyles.  In addition, research shows that hands on environmental education has a measurably positive impact not only on student achievement in science, but also in reading, math, and social studies.  Yet, environmental education is facing a national crisis.  Many schools are being forced to scale back or eliminate environmental programs.  State and local administrators and teachers point to two factors behind this recent and disturbing shift: the unintended consequences of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) such as narrowed curriculum, and a lack of funding for these critical programs.

The United States can no longer afford to treat environmental education as optional.  Environmental education is critical for helping young Americans make the complex conceptual connections between economic prosperity, lifestyle choices and energy use, environmental health and their own well being.  Across the globe, problems caused by climate change, pollution, and resource depletion are increasingly acute: they are issues that will soon confront today’s young people.

Elementary and Secondary Education

With the passage of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), school principals found themselves in an unyielding public spotlight public spotlight as they are held accountable for student achievement while implementation and direction of resources in support of the goals of NCLB have overwhelmingly focused on teachers. It is time to bring equal attention to the concept of highly qualified principals. Read More »

H.R. 5172, the Instructional Leadership Act of 2009 encourages states to develop and incorporate standards of instructional leadership into the certification and training of exemplary or highly qualified principals who can drive gains in academic achievement for all children by:

  • Establishing programs that enhance instructional leadership.
  • Encouraging states to develop and incorporate standards of instructional leadership into the certification and training of exemplary or highly qualified principals who can drive gains in academic achievement for all children.
  • Establishing a process that will bring clear definition and utility to the concept of the highly qualified principal.

H.R. 5172 will be the necessary first step towards developing a generation of school leaders who are committed to, and effective in, increasing student achievement.

Higher Education

Legislation that Congressman Sarbanes authored, the Education for Public Service Act, has become law through the passage of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act.  The Education for Public Service Act created an enhanced student loan forgiveness program for those young men and women who want to serve their communities in public sector or non-profit jobs, such as teaching, civil service, law enforcement, at no cost to taxpayers. Read More »

High student loan debt and low starting salaries have made careers in public service untenable for many. Yet the need for public-interest and government workers has never been greater. The College Cost Reduction and Access Act offers a program designed to alleviate the disproportionate burden placed on these workers.

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Option, which Congressman Sarbanes authored and became law in 2007, allows individuals who work in public service and make regular loan payments to have the balance of their student loans forgiven after ten years. Starting July 1st, individuals with student loans will also be able to enter into an Income-Based Repayment (IBR) plan that will lower their monthly payments based on a debt to income ratio, which can be calculated using the tools located here

• If you work in an eligible public service profession, you can enroll in the income-contingent repayment (ICR) program, which lowers the monthly payment on eligible student loans.

• Eligible student loans include any loans disbursed through the Federal Direct Loan Program  or other Federal loans consolidated through the Federal Direct Consolidation Loan Program.

• Eligible public service professions include full-time employment in—

  • Emergency management;
  • Government;
  • Military service;
  • Public safety and law enforcement;
  • Public health;
  • Public education (including early childhood education);
  • Social work in a public child or family service organization;
  • Public interest law services;
  • Public child care;
  • Public service for individuals with disabilities;
  • Public service for the elderly;
  • Public library sciences;
  • School-based library sciences and other school-based services; or
  • An organization that is described in § 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

• After 10 years of making this lower monthly payment the balance of your loan is forgiven. 

• The 10 year payment period does not need to be consecutive, so a borrower may leave public service, work in the private sector, then return to public service.

• As long as 10 years of monthly payments are made while enrolled in the program, the borrowers remaining debt is forgiven.

Sarbanes Standard: Student Loan Interest Rates

John Sarbanes
John Sarbanes
John Sarbanes
John Sarbanes
John Sarbanes