Rep. Foxx aims to reauthorize Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, following decades of work in labor and education

This is one of the chairwoman’s latest moves in her long history of education- and work-related efforts.

The chairwoman of the Education and Workforce Committee is set on reauthorizing a program aimed at helping job seekers succeed in the labor market.

Paths to technical education create opportunities for non-college track Americans to gain employment in industries that provide good wages, but funding for those opportunities expired back in 2020. 

A representative of Dr. Virginia Foxx, Chairwoman of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, told Campus Reform on Sept. 8 that one of Dr. Foxx’s main goals is to revamp these opportunities by reauthorizing the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014. 

The act integrated more than a dozen different workforce development programs into a single initiative. 

 “Reauthorizing WIOA is among my top priorities as Chairwoman of the Education and the Workforce Committee, and I’m hopeful that this initiative will be bipartisan as it has traditionally been,” she said. “When WIOA was enacted in 2014, it made big strides in streamlining programs, helping workers upskill, and connecting employers with more talent. However, more needs to be done.”

Dr. Foxx also told Campus Reform “There are millions of unfilled jobs in the economy, yet WIOA provides skills development to fewer than 200,000 workers a year. As we work to reauthorize WIOA this Congress, we must apply a bigger emphasis on outcomes.”

A GOP attempt to reauthorize the bill was passed by the House in 2022 but did not make it past the Senate.

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This follows nearly five decades of Dr. Foxx’s work in education and labor — some of which has recently been focused on eradicating critical race theory and diversity, equity, and inclusion programs (DEI) from classroom materials. 

For example, in an Aug. 15 X post, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona stated that “What we teach in our nation’s classroom speaks to the essence of who we are as Americans. Limiting our students’ understanding of American history not only hinders their education - but our progress.” 

Yet, Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole pressured Cardona and the Biden Administration back in 2021 to withdraw its proposed priorities to integrate critical race theory into education.

Dr. Foxx told Campus Reform that she thinks this serves as a strong indicator that the Biden Administration and Cardona are only interested in educating students to have a disdain for the American story.

“The Biden administration is intentionally destroying a sense of civic responsibility among students,” she said. 

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“The latest National Assessment of Educational Progress student test scores found that 87 percent of eighth graders have a basic or below basic knowledge of American history while only two out of ten of those students are proficient in civics,” she continued. “These abysmal test scores reflect what happens when we allow radical indoctrination to trump basic instruction in history and civics. We must do better.”

Earlier this summer, Dr. Foxx voiced her support for the “Schools Not Shelters Act”—which would deny federal funding to any public university that housed illegal immigrants. 

The bill passed the House on July 19 and is on its way to the Senate. 

In another example, Dr. Foxx led over 100 Republican lawmakers in filing an amicus brief in late February of this year making the case that Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan was unconstitutional. After SCOTUS struck down the plan, Campus Reform interviewed Dr. Foxx in mid-July.

She mentioned in the interview how she thinks the Biden Administration will continue its efforts to cancel student debt. 

”What they’ll do is they’ll put in rules that will do anything possible to have students pay back as small amount as possible, and for some of them, nothing. But this is totally unfair to the American taxpayer,” Dr. Foxx answered. “Only 13 percent of people in this country owe debt on their college degrees.”

Campus Reform contacted Miguel Cardona, Rep. Tom Cole, and White House staff for comment. This article will be updated accordingly. 

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