Congressman Jim Cooper

Representing the 5th District of Tennessee

Children and Families


From educating our children to promoting fair environments for working mothers, policies that strengthen our families are the most important investments we can make for the future of our country.

Education is the basis of a child’s future. We need to look at ways to improve outcomes of students and support teachers and staff who are committed to providing the best education possible. It was an honor to support Tennessee’s Race to the Top Grant in 2010. Through that federal investment, the state has made impressive gains in student achievement.  In 2013, Tennessee was the fastest improving state in the nation on the National Assessment for Educational Progress, and the state continues to maintain that progress.  But we still have more work to do to make sure every child has a chance at a good education.  I signed a letter of support for Tennessee’s winning Preschool Development Grant which would expand the number of pre-K seats in Nashville. Higher education is also important in our global society, and I support policies to help keep college affordable.  If you know someone considering college, encourage them to visit my Student Financial Aid Center.

Women are vital to today’s workforce, and we need to do a better job promoting equality in the workplace. Gender should never affect compensation; most Americans believe in equal pay for equal work and an honest day's pay for an honest day's work. Unfortunately, women today make only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, and in some states the discrepancy is worse. Women and men need to be compensated fairly and equally. That's why I co-sponsored and voted for the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which became law in 2009. I am also a cosponsor of both the Paycheck Fairness Act and the Equal Rights Amendment to help end discrimination in this country on the basis of gender, race and sexual orientation. I’m also a co-sponsor of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act to ensure pregnant women are treated fairly on the job. This bill would allow common-sense accommodations so that pregnant workers can protect their families and not risk losing their jobs.

Another major challenge we face for the future is reforming our foster care system—a system that I believe is the most broken area of federal law. I’ve supported many bills and laws to improve outcomes in foster care. I’m also a long-time and current Advisory Board member of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI). Though Congress has made some progress on these issues, it has been largely incremental. America’s abused and neglected children are our greatest national tragedy, and we need the ideas of a new generation of reformers to solve these serious problems. Middle Tennessee has some of the finest foster care and adoption advocates, and it’s an honor to recognize our local “Angels in Adoption” every year in Washington. I remain committed to work with our local “Angels” and my colleagues on foster care and adoption issues. 

Links & Additional Information

Savings and Ownership Caucus (New America Institute)

Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute

Head Start

TN Score


More on Children and Families

Jan 31, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) announced that he has invited his constituent and executive director of the Tennessee Justice Center, Michele Johnson, to attend the 2020 State of the Union address as his guest.

Jan 29, 2020 Press Release

NASHVILLE – Last fall, the Davidson County Election Commission, U.S. Representative Jim Cooper (TN-05), and the Mayor’s Youth Council announced the partnership for the third year of nonpartisan high school voter registration drives. 

In-school registrations were conducted throughout the month of November at 36 area high schools. The voter registration drives successfully increased voter registration by 59% among participating schools. Some schools saw registrations increase by as much as 136%. 

Dec 18, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Jim Cooper (TN-05), announced that Tuneer Ghosh, a local high school junior, is the 2019 Congressional App Challenge winner for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District. 

The Congressional App Challenge is a national initiative launched in 2013 to encourage interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) by middle and high school students. 

Nov 21, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON - U.S. Representative Jim Cooper (TN-05) issued the following statement regarding the recent birth of his first grandchild: 

“Our family is incredibly blessed and utterly delighted to announce the birth of James “Jay” Gallisdorfer early this morning.

“Martha and I are grateful that our daughter, Mary Cooper Gallisdorfer, and her husband Scott have made us grandparents for the first time. Thank you to the wonderful doctors, nurses and staff at St. Thomas Midtown.”

Oct 15, 2019 Page

Reading books is essential to my life, and I know many students in the Fifth Congressional District feel the same way. Being well-read is also important to my work as your Congressman.

That’s why I’ve launched Book Lovers Unite, a reading challenge for all students in K-12 schools in the district. Here’s how it works: Keep a log of the books you read between now and January 1, 2020, and then send it, along with your name, mailing address, and your parents’ phone number and email address, to by January 8.

Oct 1, 2019 Press Release

Testimony of Rep. Jim Cooper
on TennCare II Demonstration, Amendment 42 

Oct. 1, 2019 

“History may not repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” – attributed to Mark Twain 

Sep 5, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Congressman Jim Cooper (TN-05) issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s order to redirect taxpayer dollars from military construction projects to pay for a border wall.

May 13, 2019 Webform
Jan 8, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) issued the following statement on Trump’s address about his proposed border wall.

Dec 20, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) today announced that two students from Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet High School are this year’s Congressional App Challenge winners for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District.

The high school juniors are Zavier Miller and Bob Qian. Zavier and Bob used computer programming to create a user-friendly digital scheduling apparatus for students and teachers. They also produced a video that describes the app’s inner workings.