Senator Tim Scott Introduces Opportunity Agenda

Senator Tim Scott Introduces Opportunity Agenda

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Washington, DC – Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) announced that he has introduced two pieces of legislation as part of his “opportunity agenda,” aimed at refocusing Washington on expanding economic opportunity and unleashing the potential of all Americans. Senator Scott has introduced the Creating Hope and Opportunity for Individuals and Communities through Education (CHOICE) Act to expand educational opportunities for children with disabilities, children living on military bases, and children living in impoverished areas.

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“As someone who grew up poor and nearly failed out of high school, I know the importance of empowering parents and teachers to make a difference in a child’s life,” Scott said. “Kids who succeed in the classroom have a better chance of succeeding later in life. Education is the cornerstone of success, and the CHOICE Act is a great first step towards ensuring more kids across our nation have access to a great one.”

The CHOICE Act enhances education opportunities by:

· Empowering parents of a child with a disability to choose the educational path that best suits their child’s needs by providing startup funds to states for disability school choice programs. It also allows states that already have those programs to make their federal funds portable to maximize education opportunities for students with disabilities.

· Creating a pilot school choice program for students living on military bases, allowing access to high-quality education for children of families who put our country first.

· Expanding Washington, DC’s Opportunity Scholarship Program, one of the nation’s greatest experiments in providing school choice for underprivileged students. This program spends just under $8,500 per student compared with almost $21,000 per student in DC public schools and yields a 97 percent graduation rate – compared to a district-wide rate of only 56 percent.

Senator Scott also introduced the Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills (SKILLS) Act, providing sorely-needed reforms for the government’s bureaucratic maze of workforce development and training programs. The legislation specifically aims to help low-income workers, individuals with disabilities looking for work, and at-risk youth by:

· Making job training more immediately available.

· Making the workforce investment system more responsive to the needs of employers.

· Streamlining 35 separate federal workforce development programs into a single Workforce Investment Fund

“Let’s make sure that the skills people are obtaining prepare them for the jobs that are available,” Scott added. “The SKILLS Act will help to ensure that training programs are doing what they’re designed to do while eliminating duplication and waste. This bill is a winner for workers, employers, and taxpayers.”

Senator Scott and an aide walk to submit his first two bills