High-quality education is critical to the growth and success of the nation. In order to compete in a global economy, young people must be able to acquire the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the 21st century. To achieve this, Congressman Pallone believes local schools and teachers must be provided with adequate resources and compensation, and a strong emphasis must be placed on hiring and retaining highly trained and talented teaching professionals.
Likewise, expanding access to higher education is an investment in the nation's future and economic strength. Congressman Pallone represents world-class universities in the sixth district, including Rutgers University, and college affordability remains a priority of his in Congress. Today, Americans owe more in tuition debt than credit card debt. He is committed to increasing Pell Grants for students and has supported legislation to keep student loan interest rates low and outlaw predatory student loan practices.
Early and K-12 education:
Congressman Pallone voted for the Education and Medicaid Assistance Act which helped save and create hundreds of thousands of jobs, including approximately 161,000 teacher jobs. The bill also closed corporate tax loopholes that encouraged corporations to ship American jobs overseas.
Congressman Pallone introduced The Fighting Gangs and Empowering Youth Act of 2011, which includes improved prevention programs, more focused recidivism and reentry efforts, and stronger penalties for those that are involved with recruiting gang members. As part, it creates grants for schools, non profits, housing agencies, and law enforcement for the establishment and implementation of gang prevention programs.
Higher Education affordability and access:
Congressman Pallone co-sponsored and voted for legislation to prevent subsidized Stafford student loan interest rates from doubling on July 1, 2012 from 3.4% to 6.8%, which would affect seven million students across the nation, including nearly 144,000 in New Jersey.
Congressman Pallone voted for the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act which invested $36 billion over 10 years to increase the maximum annual Pell grant scholarship to better keep up with the cost of education. The legislation also converted new federal student lending to stable and cost-effective Direct Student Loans (from the federal government and not private banks), a more reliable program for students that also saves taxpayer money by no longer subsidizing banks.
Congressman Pallone supported the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which was signed into law by President Obama in April 2009. The national service bill dramatically increases the size of the AmeriCorps service program over the next eight years, expands ways for students to earn money for college and creates opportunities for all Americans to serve in communities.