As a graduate of Los Angeles' public schools, including Hamilton High School and UCLA, Howard knows firsthand that a strong public school system is key to our nation's global competitiveness and our children's futures.
He strongly believes that education, particularly in math and science, is the source of future innovation that is absolutely necessary for us to maintain our economic leadership. Innovation, such as the introduction of a new or greatly improved product or process, will increasingly be needed to drive growth and employment and improve living standards. It is crucial to continue to invest in education and research, because they are the future long-term sources of growth.
Howard is a strong supporter of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education initiatives like the America COMPETES Act. Ensuring that students have a solid foundation in STEM fields and that teachers have the resources they need to provide it are critical to America's continued leadership in research and development, manufacturing, and the high value jobs that these fields provide.
Howard is opposed to deep cuts in education because although they may provide some short-term fiscal relief, they are certain to hurt long-term growth.
Funding for local schools is a critical component of a successful school system. That's why Howard voted for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which included over $550 million for the Los Angeles Unified School District. The bill helped keep teachers in the classroom and made greatly needed infrastructure improvements possible for California schools. He actively supports local Head Start programs for pre-school aged children as well as GEAR UP, TRIO, and after-school enrichment and intervention programs, which work with low income and at risk youth to ensure academic success and college or career readiness.
An estimated 774,000 California college students rely on Pell Grants to help put them through school and Howard has fought hard to preserve and increase funding to the program. He has also worked to simplify the application for federal student aid for college students (FAFSA). And he's pushed for greater transparency and accountability in college loans, and pushed to require colleges to disclose and rein in price increases so students and their families can make informed decisions about education.