Education -- Our Nation's Future
The future of our prosperity depends fundamentally on the quality of the education that we provide to our children.
Well-educated Americans innovate, invent new products and services, and are more productive than workers anywhere else on the globe. Solid education is also important for meaningful engagement in a vibrant democracy.
Closing the Achievement Gap
While Connecticut is home to some of the best schools in the country, not all of our students are getting the education they deserve and require. Connecticut's "achievement gap" is wider than anywhere else. I am committed to reforming and improving our public schools so that all children graduate from high school ready for college or additional job training. And when they graduate, we need to ensure they have access to the additional education we know is essential to success in the 21st century economy. I have supported the strong efforts of President Obama and Secretary of Education Duncan to effect and fund reform around the country.
Supporting Teachers and Students
Since I have come to Congress, we have improved access to federal student aid, enacted polices to help keep teachers in the classroom during tough economic times, and created programs to help students develop life and career as well as academic skills.
We have increased Pell grants, improved access to work-study programs, and most importantly, removed subsides for private banks that provide student loans and, instead, put that money directly in the hands of students.
Early Childhood Education
As much we must improve access to education beyond high school, it is just as important that all children enter school ready to learn. I have helped secure funding for local early education programs throughout our district, including grants to ABCD in Bridgeport, and I helped pass legislation that will increase salaries for Head Start teachers and counselors.
Life-long Learning & Re-training
Finally, education doesn't end in the classroom. I have authored and helped pass provisions that provide consumers will better information to make smart financial decisions, established a program to teach teens life and career skills, and provided support for entrepreneurs and workers training for jobs in the green building and energy industries.