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Education is the backbone of the United States. It empowers children and young adults to shape their own futures and ensures that everyone, no matter their background, can reach their full potential. Every day, parents across the country place their trust in educators to provide their children with a safe and supportive learning environment, challenging and eye-opening coursework, and the strong moral foundation required to guarantee that each new generation is better prepared than the last. I am grateful to have worked and learned at multiple schools, large and small, public and private, and I treasure my experiences with the many students who continue to inspire me.
As a lifelong educator, I know that students’ success begins with teachers’ success. However, too many teachers today struggle to make ends meet, working long hours and multiple jobs without the support, supplies, and infrastructure they need. It’s long past time for us to pay our teachers a salary that reflects the vital work they do for our nation. That’s why I cosponsored H.Res. 58, which supports raising teacher pay, and H.R. 865, the Rebuild America’s Schools Act, which will invest $100 billion in our public education system. As a member of the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education within the House Committee on Education and Labor, I will continue working to elevate the voices of educators across the United States.
We must also strive to make higher education truly accessible and affordable. A college degree is invaluable in today’s economy, and any student who seeks to graduate from college deserves the opportunity to do so without accruing exorbitant debt. I will continue to advocate for increasing Pell Grants for low-income students, holding predatory for-profit colleges accountable, and protecting loan forgiveness programs for our teachers, police officers, nurses, and fire fighters.
During my first term in Congress, I’ve introduced numerous bills aimed at making higher education truly accessible and affordable:
- H.R. 4193, the Student Loan Transparency Disclosure Act, will provide students who take out federal student loans with a simple monthly loan disclosure statement on projected payments, accrued interest, total cost of attendance, and other personalized details in easy and understandable terms.
- H.R. 5528, the CACIA Act, will create a Congressional Commission to identify and examine issues of national concern related to the conduct of intercollegiate athletics and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
- H.R. 4497, the Protecting Student Aid Act, will codify the Student Aid Enforcement Unit within the Department of Education to help the Department better respond to fraud and abuse within federal student aid programs.
- H.R. 2006, the College Equity Act, will provide colleges and universities with the resources to examine and address gaps in student outcomes by race and ethnicity, gender, income, and other lines of identity.
- H.R. 3689, the Protecting JOBs Act, will prevent states from being able to suspend, revoke, or otherwise deny professional licenses solely due to borrowers falling behind on their student loan payments.
I am working with educators, administrators, students, and parents to ensure that our education system—from Pre-K through college—reflects the innovation and tenacity of the many students and teachers across the United States that I am proud to know.