I believe in upholding an educational system that inspires innovation and ideas for a world we can only imagine. In Congress, I will make sure that strengthening education at all levels remains a top national priority. Strong public education and college affordability have been made possible by the fact that we were all able to agree on their importance. We worked together to make it a reality, but public education is under attack from wealthy special interests seeking to make a profit on the backs of our children and at the expense of our collective future.
Along with many in my generation, I was able to build a happy and successful life because of strong early education and federal programs that made college affordable. Maintaining vigorous public schools, increasing access to Pre-K education, and ensuring that educational opportunities keep pace with a rapidly changing economy are essential. We need programs such as STEM (Science, Engineering, Technology, and Math) to be available in every school so students may analyze and develop the critical thinking skills to understand their world. Together we can make sure those same opportunities remain available to our children and keep America competitive in the global economy.
We must keep college education affordable and invest in trade and vocational education for students seeking options other than a traditional college degree. Through grants, scholarships, subsidized student loans, and working with colleges and universities, we can find creative ways to bring down the skyrocketing cost so our students are not straddled with overwhelming debt.
At the same time, our children need to feel safe in their schools at every level. Our children in preschool through college deserve to be protected from harassment, discrimination, or violation. We cannot weaken our standards because of political agendas and outside influence which seeks to minimize the policies that have been developed to keep our kids secure.
Speaking to educators across our area, one theme emerges—we need to stop teaching to the test and allow for innovation in the classroom—teaching children how to think not what to think. Our children are entering a highly demanding, technologically driven world and high-quality educational options in every field need to be available to every child to prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow. We have to give them the vision not only to reach for the stars but the tools to develop the vehicles to get there. Inside every child in America is an untapped wealth of ideas and innovation--we have to find ways to fire that spark so it becomes a blaze! Investing in our children is creating success for our future.