Congressman Tom Cotton

Representing the 4th District of Arkansas
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I will work to empower parents with better information and more options to make the right choices for their children’s education and I will work to restore local control over our educational system.

I am the proud product of public schools and the son of a public-school teacher and principal. I was blessed with wonderful parents, teachers, and coaches who taught the skills, knowledge, and values needed for success in the workforce, which is why I support our public-school system. But I also strongly support parental choice and alternatives to the traditional public-school system, including home schooling, charter schools, and private and religious schools. Only parents can and should decide which path is best for their children. The federal government should treat all these options equally and neutrally.

Washington should not dictate choices to either parents or local school systems. Though No Child Left Behind was well-intended, it wrongly imposed a top-down, one-size-fits-all system of accountability and unfunded mandates. Federal education policy should encourage communities and states to develop their own curricula, tests, and standards, while promoting transparency and providing information needed to empower parents, students, and educators.

Finally, I believe that choice, competition, and freedom will help provide needed reforms to our public schools, as it does in free markets. I applaud the service of our great teachers, and the federal government shouldn’t make their jobs harder. I will work to ensure federal law doesn’t create obstacles to merit pay for our best teachers, alternative credentialing for new teachers, and local freedom to hire and fire teachers.

More on Education

Jun 17, 2014 Cotton Blog

Earlier this month, I held a congratulatory reception for the winners of this year’s Congressional Art Competition from Arkansas’s 4th District. For those of you who don’t know, this annual competition recognizes and honors the artistic talents of high school students from across the country. The first place winners from each Congressional District have their artwork displayed in the Cannon Tunnel of the U.S. Capitol for one year and receive an invitation to the National Congressional Art Competition Winners' Reception in Washington, D.C.   

Jun 9, 2014 Cotton Blog

On Friday, I had a great afternoon in Hot Springs, Arkansas honoring this year’s U.S Service Academy Attendees from Arkansas’s 4th District at my annual “Service Academy Send-Off” reception. As a veteran, I feel strongly about the importance of military service. I am proud of these young men and women for earning appointments to these distinguished institutions. And I want to extend my deepest thanks to them for their willingness to respond to the call of service. I know they will continue to make their communities and all of Arkansas proud.

May 9, 2014 Cotton Blog

Disaster Declaration for Pulaski, Randolph, and White Counties 

May 5, 2014 Cotton Blog

This week, we mark National Teacher Appreciation Week, an opportunity to recognize all of the tremendous teachers out there and the wonderful work they do to educate our children. As you may know, my mom, Avis, was a public school teacher and principal for 40 years. I saw firsthand the dedication and hard work she put into teaching. For her, it was much more than just a job. I know most teachers feel similarly.

Mar 28, 2014 Cotton Blog

House Financial Services Committee

Mar 14, 2014 Cotton Blog

House Financial Services Committee 

Feb 28, 2014 Cotton Blog


Feb 18, 2014 Cotton Blog

I am pleased to announce the 2014 Congressional Art Competition is underway! This annual competition recognizes and honors the artistic talents of high school students in Arkansas’s 4th Congressional District and throughout the country.  All high school students currently in grades 9-12 are welcome to participate.

Aug 1, 2013 Press Release
Contact: Caroline Rabbitt: 202-225-3772
Cotton Statement on Student Loan Vote
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cotton released the following statement after yesterday's vote on student loan interest rate legislation: 
“Access to affordable higher education is not a partisan issue, it’s something all Arkansans support; frankly, it's where thi
Jun 28, 2013 Cotton Blog
Crossett Middle School of Crossett, Arkansas was recently recognized as a "School to Watch" by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform. The National Forum identifies high-performing middle schools and highlights their achievements based on academic excellence, developmental responsiveness and social equity.