Rep. Lujan understands that investing in our children's education is the most important thing we can do to ensure a sustainable future for our country. Today's classrooms should provide a positive learning environment where students are encouraged to challenge themselves and achieve their goals. Ben believes that no child should be overlooked, no matter what his or her background or family income level may be.
High school dropout rates must be reduced, and Rep. Lujan is committed to supporting mentorship, tutoring and after-school programs in all of our schools. Rep. Lujan will fight to support funding for educational programs for our most underserved and at-risk youth. Schools need to reach out to parents and members of the community to engage them in their children's education and make sure that no students are left behind.
Schools must recruit and train qualified teachers, and make sure that teachers are fairly compensated for their hard work. Rep. Lujan is committed to supporting a comprehensive curriculum in our schools that will prepare students to succeed in a competitive global economy. Investing in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education will be an integral part of ensuring that our students are college-bound. Students should not be afraid of college because of costs, and Rep. Lujan will work towards making college affordable and accessible to every student.
In Congress, Rep. Lujan voted to pass the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan, which provides funding for schools that will help protect teacher jobs, maintain programs for children with disabilities, and help students get the education they need to prepare themselves for the jobs of the future. Rep. Lujan has also fought for colleges and universities in New Mexico by making sure that Hispanic Serving Institutions and Tribal Colleges would have improved opportunities to benefit from innovative training programs in the American Clean Energy and Security Act.
Rep. Lujan also introduced the Community College Energy Training Act of 2009, which will support the training of technicians to work in the wind, solar, geothermal and biomass energy sectors. The bill also will cover other energy-related occupations, including energy-efficient construction and retrofitting, recycling and waste reduction, water and energy conservation, and sustainable agriculture.
Rep. Lujan is committed to supporting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) curriculum in our schools to ensure that our children are prepared to compete in a global economy. Rep. Lujan cosponsored and voted to pass the STEM Education Coordination Act, which will coordinate STEM education activities across the federal government. Rep. Lujan believes that the federal government and our national laboratories can play an important role in STEM education at all levels because of the abundant science and technology resources at our research agencies.