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Do You Like School Salad Bars and SEL? Tim Ryan Does. He's Running for President


Say hello to the newest White House hopeful: Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, announced Thursday that he is seeking the Democratic nomination for president in 2020

Ryan, who was first elected to the House in 2002 and challenged Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi for her Democratic leadership post in 2016, says on his congressional website that he supports the Every Student Succeeds Act because it "gives states greater power to close the achievement gap for disadvantaged students, reduces overreliance on standardized testing, and gives teachers and schools the resources they need to be successful."

Ryan says he's recently become convinced that social-emotional learning should be a top priority for schools. On his congressional website, he highlights a bill he first introduced in 2011 (and reintroduced as recently as last year) that would have allowed federal money to go to teacher and principal training on SEL. He also notes that he's worked on promoting SEL in two school districts in Ohio. "Social and emotional learning is a process that promotes the development of core personal competencies: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationships skills, and responsible decision-making - all within a safe, caring, and participatory learning environment," he says. 

Ryan also says that Head Start has a proven track record of success. And based on recent troubles in Ohio charter schools, he believes they need more robust oversight and accountability provisions. He's also a backer of ending corporal punishment in schools and the Democrats' recent bill to provide about $100 billion in aid for school infrastructure. 

Do you like salad? If you said yes, you're in luck—so does Ryan. In fact, he thinks giving children access to healthy food at school is important enough that he introduced legislation to help schools pay for things like the equipment that's necessary to help them have salad bars. "Research shows that children are much more likely to consume healthy fresh food if there is a salad bar available for children to build and create their own meal," Ryan said. "However, the upfront cost of acquiring the equipment and the investment in planning and administering a salad bar can be too costly for most schools to undertake with existing resources."

Ryan also says that as a member of the Ohio Senate, he led efforts to standardize the way schools report data. 

Photo: Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, speaks at the Heartland Forum held on the campus of Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa, Saturday, March 30, 2019. (Nati Harnik/AP)

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