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 four 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.
Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education
Education from early learning through the high school level, including but not limited to early care and education programs such as the Head Start Act and the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act, special education, and homeless and migrant education; overseas dependent schools; career and technical education; school climate and safety, including alcohol and drug abuse prevention; educational equity, including facilities; educational research and improvement, including the Institute of Education Sciences; and pre-service and in-service teacher professional development, including Title II of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and Title II of the Higher Education Act.
Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Investment
Education and workforce development beyond the high school level, including but not limited to higher education generally, postsecondary student assistance and employment services, and the Higher Education Act, including campus safety and climate; adult education; postsecondary career and technical education, apprenticeship programs, and workforce development, including but not limited to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, vocational rehabilitation, and workforce development programs from immigration fees; programs related to the arts and humanities, museum and library services, and arts and artifacts indemnity; science and technology programs; and domestic volunteer programs and national service programs, including the Corporation for National and Community Service.
Subcommittee on Workforce Protections
Wages and hours of workers including, but not limited to, the Davis-Bacon Act, the Walsh-Healey Act, the Service Contract Act, and the Fair Labor Standards Act; workers’ compensation including the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, and the Black Lung Benefits Act; the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act; the Family and Medical Leave Act; the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act; the Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988; trade and immigration issues as they impact employers and workers; and workers’ safety and health including, but not limited to, occupational safety and health, mine safety and health, and migrant and agricultural worker safety and health.
Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions
Matters dealing with relationships between employers and employees, including but not limited to the National Labor Relations Act, the Labor-Management Relations Act, and the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act; the Bureau of Labor Statistics; and employment-related health and retirement security, including but not limited to pension, health, other employee benefits, and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.
Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services
Matters relating to equal employment opportunities and civil rights generally; welfare reform programs, including but not limited to work incentive programs and welfare-to-work requirements; poverty and human services programs, including but not limited to the Community Services Block Grant Act and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program; the Native American Programs Act; school lunch and child nutrition programs; matters dealing with programs and services for the elderly, including but not limited to nutrition programs and the Older Americans Act; adolescent development programs, including but not limited to those providing for the care and treatment of certain at-risk youth such as the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act and the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act; and matters dealing with child abuse and domestic violence, including but not limited to the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act and child adoption.