I am a proud product of public education from elementary through law school, and both of my children have attended our local public schools. I strongly believe that every American deserves a high-quality public education from their first day of pre-k to their college graduation.
In the State Senate, I was a strong advocate for education priorities such as eliminating unnecessary standardized tests, modernizing school teaching, and opposing Republican efforts to take away local control of schools.
In Congress, I have been a tireless fighter for delivering federal resources to improve access to quality education. I have supported record funding for Title I schools, Head Start, and the Child Care and Development Block Grants. I believe we need to reduce the student-to-provider ratios within school systems; that’s why I have led the call to address the shortage of school-based mental health professionals and was proud to have increased funding for these crucial programs in our appropriations legislation.
Additionally, I understand the value of a quality STEM education for all students. I recently voted to fund research and development of high-quality math education for K-12 students. I also cosponsored the 21st Century STEM for Girls and Underrepresented Minorities Act to fund after school activities, summer programs, field trips, and tutoring and mentoring programs.
As an avid defender of making higher education more affordable, I believe that Congress must support student loan borrowers – that’s why I’ve fought predatory lenders and stood up to help those defrauded by for-profit colleges be made whole. I’ve also been a leader in advocating for improvements to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program for public servants, as well as fighting for federal student financial aid programs, consolidating federal student loans, advocating for TRIO Funding which supports individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, and increasing accountability measures through the College Affordability Act.
I understand how vital education is to the success of our community. Through supporting raising teachers’ pay and benefits, promoting more STEM courses and careers, incentivizing career and technical training, and fighting for adequate public school funding, I know that Congress can create a more equitable and beneficial education system for all communities and help create a path to success for every Virginia student.