The economy, especially in San Diego, runs on brainpower. If we don't educate our children, our nation won't be able to compete. We need to make sure our K-12 education system is preparing our kids for college and ensure that any student who qualifies and wants to go to college can afford to do so. For those who do not choose a four-year degree, we must work toward establishing our community colleges as centers for job training and placement.
America has always stood behind middle-class kids who want to get an education and make a living. I know because I was one of those kids. My family could not have afforded college for me and my three sisters on the minister's salary my father earned. We got help from financial aid, including loans and work-study. So did thousands of other kids, as well as veterans who had the GI Bill.
It's harder for students and families today than when I went to college 30 years ago. In that time, the cost of a public college education has gone up 350%, adjusted for inflation! At the same time, the federal government has been cutting back on Pell Grants and other financial aid. That's backwards. As a member of Congress, I will fight to ensure that every student has the opportunity I had to get an education and to get ahead. Investing in our children and their education is the only way for us to compete in this global economy and to give our kids a shot at the American Dream.