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Making Education a Top Priority

All of our children deserve a fair chance to succeed and a good education gives them the tools they need to achieve their full potential.  If America does not lead the world in education, our future workforce will be less productive and less globally competitive. Because of this link, education is a central component of economic development.  I am committed to a strong public education system that provides children with the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century economy. That means access to quality public schools for all children and an affordable college education for all who pursue one.  Even in times of fiscal constraints, few families hesitate to take out educational loans for their children because they understand the benefit of a college education. On the national level, I'm fighting to improve our public education system, make college more affordable to all Americans, and make meaningful investments in our children.

I'm working to ensure that all of our children receive the best education possible by:

  • Investing in our public schools. To help our students succeed, we need to make sure our schools have the resources they need. I voted for the Recovery Act because it made critical investments in school assistance programs such as IDEA, Title 1 and Head Start. There's still a lot of work to do, but we have an obligation to give our next generation the brightest future possible.
  • Ensuring that schools are teaching skills our local employers need.  Skilled workers are necessary to the manufacturing and the auto industries and we need to ensure that we continue to produce skilled trade workers right here in our communities and in our schools.
  • Making college more affordable for everyone.  I’ve been working with Rep. Joe Courtney on legislation to stop interest rates on certain student loans from doubling on July 1, 2012. With two out of three college students graduating with significant debt and the cost of public college in Michigan increasing 111% in the last 10 years, we must extend this relief so that the American Dream of higher education is accessible to everyone that’s willing to work hard.
  • Funding science, technology, engineering and math education. To keep America competitive on the global marketplace, we need to ensure that our students have the skills they need to succeed. I helped write the reauthorization of the America COMPETES Act law which makes landmark investments in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and programs.