Issue Position: Education
Arizona's most important resource is our children. We must invest in their education -- from preschool through college -- and ensure that each has a chance to succeed, with highly-qualified teachers in every classroom. Funding our children's education is the single most important economic investment we can make in America's future. As China, India and Europe pour trillions of dollars into their children's education, we would be fools to sit back and watch them take the lead. America must compete!
Investing in our kids
I supported the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which made key investments to help states avoid teacher layoffs. This included bringing more than $1.6 billion dollars to public education in Arizona. These are Arizona's tax dollars; they should be invested in Arizona kids and their success.
This summer, I voted to save the jobs of more than 3,300 Arizona teachers and educators and bring more than $211 million to Arizona Schools. Without this funding, Southern Arizona school districts would have been forced to take drastic steps such as shortening the school year, closing libraries or increasing class sizes yet again.
Science and Math Education
Positioning our kids to succeed economically should not be a partisan issue. Everyone should want to keep America the global leader in innovation. I am a member of the House Science and Technology Committee; I am focused on making sure that our children are prepared to compete with their peers across the world in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. This is where the best jobs of the future will be, and I want to see American workers doing those jobs.
I voted for the America COMPETES Act in 2007 and for its reauthorization in 2010. This bill authorizes over $33 billion for science, technology, engineering and math or "STEM" education and research programs over three years. This put the federal government on track to double its annual investment in basic science research over the next 10 years.
New G.I. Bill
I helped improve the post-9/11 G.I. Bill, so that our servicemembers -- along with their spouses and children in some cases -- can get an education when they return home from serving our country. They have earned their education, and voting for the new G.I. Bill was the right thing to do.
Our soldiers and airmen returning to Davis-Monthan and Ft. Huachuca can now afford the cost of a full, four-year college scholarship at the U of A, Pima Community College or even Harvard.
In today's global economy, a college education has become essential to achieving the American Dream. However, the rising cost of college is moving that dream out of reach for many.
I have voted for tax credits and federal funding to make college more affordable for Arizonans, including raising the "American Opportunity" college tuition tax credit from $1,200 to $2,500 and increasing the maximum Pell Grant to $5,550.