Supported the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which makes strategic investments in education to help America become stronger, more productive and more competitive. The Recovery Act makes investments to modernize our schools, help states avoid teacher layoffs and other education cutbacks, and makes college more affordable for middle class families. This law will save or create more than 250,000 jobs in the education sector.
Makes college more affordable for families by increasing higher education tax credits from $1,800 to $2,500; increases the maximum Pell Grants by $500 making college more affordable for seven million students; and invests an additional $200 million in the Work Study Program, allowing an additional 133,000 students to participate in this vital program.
Invests in early childhood development by providing $2.1 billion for Head Start and Early Head Start- programs that provide comprehensive development services to preschool children, infants and toddlers. Also provides $2 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant, providing child care services to 300,000 children while their parents go to work.
Establishes a $53 billion State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, which was vitally needed as states faced an unprecedented and massive fiscal crisis. Without the Recovery Act, school districts across the country would have to enact deep education cuts.
Invests in and provides tax credits for the modernization of schools across the country, which will create new construction jobs while ensuring students can learn in a safe, healthy, technologically up-to-date and energy-efficient learning environment.
Supported the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which was signed into law by President Obama in 2009. The national service bill dramatically increases the size of the AmeriCorps service program over the next eight years, ensuring that young people continue to work to make their communities better.
Supported the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009, the single largest investment in aid to help students and families pay for college in history--at no cost to taxpayers. The legislation reforms the system of federal student loans to save taxpayers $87 billion - and then invests $77 billion of those savings back into education, particularly by making college more affordable. It also increases the maximum Pell Grant from $5,350 in 2009 to $5,550 in 2010 and $6,900 in 2019 and keeps interest rates low on subsidized federal student loans. President Obama signed this bill into law on March 30, 2010 as part of the Reconciliation Act.
Supported the 21st Century Green High-Performing Public School Facilities Act, which provides critical improvements to modernize, renovate and repair school facilities across the country, while encouraging energy efficiency and creating nearly 140,000 new jobs. This legislation was passed by the House in May 2009.