Issue Position: Education

Issue Position

Date: Jan. 1, 2014
Issues: Education

Six years ago, Congress passed the No Child Left Behind (NCBL) Act. This bill made major changes to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which is the basis of federal K-12 education policy and authorizes most K-12 federal funding. However, although things have improved, NCLB needs to be amended to make it, in the words of Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller, "Fair, Flexible, and Funded."
I believe that a problem with current law is that schools whose students have not made adequate achievement gains are all treated the same -- with the same interventions and sanctions taking place over the same period of time. I plan to work with other lawmakers in Washington to ensure that the appropriate changes to the system take place so that all children who put forth the effort necessary to succeed are rewarded for that effort, and not lumped into a category that does not recognize their effort.
Once we have provided a system that effectively educates our youth in their developmental stages, our next task as a society is to make sure that college is affordable to our best and brightest children, regardless of their parent's socioeconomic status.

A college education is as important today as high school was a generation ago. However, as tuition rates climb while America's middle class gets squeezed tighter, a college education is becoming out of reach for more Americans every year. The cost of a college education has risen 40% in the last five years. Students and families have taken on more and more debt as a result of climbing tuition rates. Many other Americans are opting to skip college entirely due to the rising cost. This is something I believe should not, and cannot continue to be so. No student who wants to go to college should be denied the opportunity because it is financially out of reach.

Since becoming the Majority in Congress, House Democrats have delivered on their promise to make a college education more affordable to America's middle class families. In 2007, Democrats made the largest investment in college financial aid since the GI Bill in 1944. The House has passed legislation to lower the interest rates on student loans, increase the value of Pell Grants, and provide colleges and universities with strategies to contain costs. I plan to continue this fight on our children's behalf, as well as introduce creative new legislative initiatives that will further our cause.