The strength of our education system directly impacts our nation's ability to compete in the global marketplace. Today, the next generation of great innovators, businessmen, and scientists are sitting in classrooms across the country. Prioritizing our students is the safest and smartest investment we can make as a nation. We need federal policies that ensure schools have the resources necessary to help our students succeed, to make higher education accessible, and to ensure that our students are ready for 21st century careers.
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education
Expanding STEM education is the key for America to remain a leader in innovation in the global economy. Most jobs today require at least a basic understanding of technology and computer skills. I'm committed to expanding STEM education in our country and getting our students interested in STEM fields. I've introduced legislation that would incentivize college graduates with degrees in a STEM field to teach for 5 years. To complement my legislative efforts, I've worked with STEM professionals across our district to build a STEM Academy where these experts serve as teachers, mentors and role models – inspiring students in the Second Congressional District to pursue careers in STEM fields.
Education and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)
In today's increasingly globalized age, we need federal education policies that prepare our students to compete with their international counterparts. According to the 2012 Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development's Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) results, our nation's academic scores have remained stagnant while other nations' scores have improved significantly. Our children and our nation deserve better.
A re-write of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as "No Child Left Behind," is long overdue. We need a bipartisan and transparent approach to re-writing No Child Left Behind. Through a collaborative effort, we can ensure that under-performing schools have the funds they need, that teachers aren't forced to unnecessarily change their curricula to accommodate high stakes tests, and that every student is college and career-ready.
Today, as more and more jobs require advanced degrees and training, access to higher education is becoming a necessity. Yet, the cost of higher education has grown astronomically in the past few decades, burdening millions of students and their families with significant debt while making college inaccessible to countless more. In fact, student loan debt is the second largest type of debt in America, greater than credit card debt and exceeded only by mortgage debt. I strongly support federal policies that increase college affordability, and promote student loan refinancing, and lowering of student loan interest rates.
I look forward to hearing from you.
See also information on student financial aid.