In order to keep higher education affordable, Scott voted against allowing student loan interest rates to double, and for a plan that lowered interest rates and capped how much they can increase in the future.
To reduce the impact of increasing student debt, Scott was an original cosponsor of the Student Loan Relief Act of 2013, which would extend the reduced 3.4% interest rate on Federal Direct Stafford loans.
To provide relief to those with student debt, Scott became a cosponsor of the Student Loan Interest Deduction Act of 2013, which would double the maximum tax deduction for interest paid on any qualified education loan from $2,500 to $5,000 and repeal the limitation on such deduction based upon modified adjusted gross income. He also became a cosponsor of the Get Relief from Academic Debt Act of 2013, which would allow borrowers of Direct Stafford Loans to opt to extend the period before they must begin to repay such loans. He also cosponsored the Private Student Loan Bankruptcy Fairness Act of 2013, which would make private student loans dischargeable in bankruptcy.
To help students plan for the future in a financially responsible way, Scott cosponsored the Truth-In-Tuition Act, which would require schools to either present each incoming class of students with a multi-year tuition and fee schedule, or give each student a non-binding estimate of what their education will cost them individually.
Scott is a cosponsor of the Strong Start for America’s Children Act of 2013, which would support state and local efforts to increase opportunities for low-income 4-year olds by providing quality preschool through a 10-year federal-state partnership and expand and improve early learning opportunities for children across the birth to age 5 continuum. It would also support improved infant and toddler child care quality through high-quality Early Head Start standards.
To connect green energy and high tech careers, Scott is a cosponsor of the Grants for Renewable Energy Education for the Nation (GREEN) Act, which would create unique partnerships in the renewable and sustainable energy fields that will train young Americans to develop, operate, and maintain clean energy systems.
To support future careers in science and technology, Scott is a cosponsor of the STEM Opportunities Act, which would ensure federal agencies and institutions of higher ed reach out and employ women and other underrepresented minorities in their STEM programs, and of the Supporting Teachers and Enhancing Manufacturing (STEM) Jobs Act, which would support teacher professional development programs by reauthorizing and improving existing National Science Foundation (NSF) and Department of Education grant programs for K-12 teachers who teach in the STEM disciplines.
Scott is also a cosponsor of the STEM Innovation Networks Act of 2013, which would create a grant program to provide funding to STEM Innovation Networks, which build up private-public partnerships to increase STEM educational opportunities in communities, and the American COMPETES reauthorization to provide for investment in innovation through research and development and STEM education, and to improve the competitiveness of the United States.
Supporting better education opportunities for veterans is a top priority. Scott is a cosponsor of the GI Education Benefits Fairness Act, which would amend Veterans Benefits so that both the Dept. of Defense and the Veterans Administration include “foster children” and “wards” in the definition of “child” to allow these children to get their G.I. Bills benefits. He is also a cosponsor of the Veterans’ Entry to Apprenticeship Act, which would allow eligible veterans to use their educational benefits to pay for pre-apprenticeship programs.
Scott is a cosponsor of the ABLE Act of 2013, which would ease financial strains faced by individuals with disabilities by making tax-free savings accounts available to cover qualified expenses such as education, housing, and transportation.
To support teachers and resources in the classroom, Scott is a cosponsor of the Teacher Tax Deduction Enhancement Act of 2013, which would grant a $500 above-the-line tax deduction for full-time educators and make available, for the first time, a $250 deduction to part-time teachers who purchase classroom supplies out of their own pockets through 2019.
Helped Reduce School Overcrowding, Jump-started Canyon Crest Academy: As enrollment at Torrey Pines High School climbed past 3000 students, we heard complaints from parents about overcrowding. At the same time, Scott heard from the school administration that the City was not being helpful with the construction of Carmel Valley’s planned second high school. Scott convened the city building department and engineers to make it clear that this was a priority for him and the community. They responded. We got the plumbing, electrical and sewer built so that the school could open on time, and today Canyon Crest is a stunning success.