The Committee on Education and Labor's purpose is to ensure that Americans' needs are addressed so that students and workers may move forward in a changing school system and a competitive global economy.
The committee and its five subcommittees oversee education and workforce programs that affect all Americans, from early learning through secondary education, from job training through retirement.
The Committee on Education and Labor Democrats' goal is to keep America strong by increasing education opportunities for students, by making it easier to send young adults to college, and by helping workers find job training and retirement security for a better future. The following education issues are under the jurisdiction of the Committee:
The Committee on Education and Labor oversees federal programs and initiatives dealing with education at all levels -- from preschool through high school to higher education and continuing education. These include:
Elementary and secondary education initiatives, including the No Child Left Behind Act, school choice for low-income families, special education (the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), teacher quality & teacher training, scientifically-based reading instruction, and vocational and technical education;
Higher education programs (the Higher Education Act), to support college access for low and middle-income students and help families pay for college;
Early childhood & preschool education programs including Head Start;
School lunch and child nutrition programs;
Financial oversight of the U.S. Department of Education;
Programs and services for the care and treatment of at-risk youth, child abuse prevention, and child adoption;
Educational research and improvement;
Adult education; and
Anti-poverty programs, including the Community Services Block Grant Act and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
The Committee on Education and Labor also hold jurisdiction over labor initiatives aimed at strengthening health care, job training, and retirement security for workers. Labor issues in the jurisdiction of the Committee include:
Pension and retirement security for U.S. workers;
Access to quality health care for working families and other employee benefits;
Job training, adult education, and workforce development initiatives, including those under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), to help local communities train and retrain workers;
Continuing the successful welfare reforms of 1996;
Protecting the democratic rights of individual union members;
Worker health and safety, including occupational safety and health;
Providing greater choices and flexibility (including "comp time" or family time options) to working women and men;
Equal employment opportunity and civil rights in employment;
Wages and hours of labor, including the Fair Labor Standards Act;
Workers' compensation, and family and medical leave;
All matters dealing with relationships between employers and employees.