New Education Committee Members in 114th Congress

The new 114th Congress will bring with it new ranking House and Senate education committee leaders when it convenes in 2015.

In the House, Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA) announced his bid for the ranking Democratic member position on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, replacing retiring member Rep. George Miller (CA). In a dear colleague letter, Rep. Scott wrote, “I have served my entire 22-year career in Congress on the Committee on Education and the Workforce fighting for America’s students and workers. I humbly ask for your support to lead Democrats on this important Committee in the 114th Congress.” Among his list of key issues to address in the new Congress were: reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and the Higher Education Act, student debt, and breaking the school-to-prison pipeline, noted Maggie Severns of PoliticoPro. Rep. Scott faces no competitors. Update: On November 19, Rep. Scott accepted his appointment as ranking Democratic member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

On the Republican side, Rep. John Kline (MN) will retain his position as Chairman of the Committee on Education and the Workforce. He received a waiver to continue serving as committee chairman from House leadership this week. On November 11, Chairman Kline released a video outlining “broad priorities to help strengthen the nation’s classrooms and workplaces.”

In the Senate, Sen. Lamar Alexander (TN) will become the new chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, replacing Sen. Tom Harkin (IA) who will be retiring at end of the 113th Congress’s session. “Last year Harkin introduced the Strong Start for America’s Children Act in Senate, which calls for significant federal and state investment in early learning, largely through expanded access to pre-K programs for 4-year-olds from low- and moderate-income families,” reported EdCentral. The ranking Democratic HELP committee member will now be Sen. Patty Murray (WA), a noted early childhood education supporter.

We at NAfME and the Music Education Policy Roundtable will continue to build relationships and work with everyone in leadership to ensure classroom music is supported in any reauthorization of the ESEA.


Catherina Hurlburt, Special Assistant, November 19, 2014. © National Association for Music Education (