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

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.
May 6, 2013
Press Release

Contact: Caroline Rabbitt: 202-225-3772

Mar 19, 2013
Press Release


Feb 27, 2013
Press Release

Contact: Lisa Harst: 501-520-5892