The Republican congress hasn't entirely abandoned children's education -- but it has come frighteningly close. In communities like Rochester and Syracuse we see the evidence: children still sitting in overcrowded classrooms; teachers not given the support and training they need; schools required to implement complex federal programs without seeing the federal funds they were promised. DAN MAFFEI knows there's a time to translate Parents' outrage over this lack of commitment to our children's education into action. And, that time is now.
Dan Knows Congress Is Getting A Failing Grade In Education. And his action plan calls for aggressive steps to raise student achievement in core subjects, improved teacher training, programs that demand results of our schools, and, expanded early childhood education. Maffei will always fight to ensure upstate New York students have access to high-quality schools, and the opportunity and financial resources they need to go to college.
Working to Provide Resources for Educational Achievement and Success. The No Child Left Behind Act called for improved accountability for teachers and schools in an effort to improve academic performance. Sadly, Republicans in Congress have failed to follow through on the law's promises, short-changing schools by failing to fund the law by nearly $27 billion over three years. Dan Maffei strongly believes in the value of an effective partnership that holds schools and educators accountable for achievement goals while being equally firm with a government that should be responsible for delivering on its commitments.
Enhancing Educators. This past year, the Republican Congress under-funded teacher quality grants by $260 million. As a result, approximately 50,000 fewer teachers will receive the high quality, federally-supported professional development training mandated by the No Child Left Behind law. Dan Maffei also supports student loan relief programs that will help upstate New York schools recruit and retain top-quality teachers.
Rebuilding and Modernizing Public Schools. Today, there's an estimated $127 billion of unmet school construction and renovation needs in the United States. Put another way, nearly three-quarters of the nation's schools need funds to bring their buildings into a "good overall condition." Dan Maffei will fight to ensure our schools provide upstate New York students with a safe environment where all students can learn and thrive. He also supports expanding existing federal tax credits to pay the interest on school modernization bonds -- a smart way to give our communities the resources needed to improve our schools.
Expanding Early Childhood Education and Development. Dan Maffei will fight for the early childhood education programs that have proven critical to the success of children in both school and life. Maffei supports expanding access to Head Start, which provides instruction in pre-math and pre-reading for young children and comprehensive services including parent education and health screenings.
Making College More Affordable. Middle-income families are hard pressed to keep up with rising tuition costs. Due to record-high financial barriers, more than 400,000 low-and moderate-income high school graduates who are fully prepared to attend a four-year college are unable to do so. Dan Maffei believes all students should have the opportunity to earn a college degree through hard work in high school and college. Dan Maffei supports legislation to make college more affordable and will work to increase Pell Grants, expand student loan tax deductions and enact legislation that will allow students to decrease the cost of loans through refinancing.