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Public schools play an important role in Oregon and across the country, and strengthening public education and improving access to higher education will grow our economy and benefit our communities. It was an honor to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass the Every Student Succeeds Act, which replaces No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The Every Student Succeeds Act will reduce high-stakes testing—which narrowed curriculum and stifled teaching and learning—and facilitate more decision-making at the local and state level. The law includes my commonsense provision to streamline testing in schools so educators can focus more of their time on teaching and helping students learn and thrive. As a member of the select panel of House and Senate members tasked with crafting the final version of the bill, I successfully added language to encourage STEAM, interdisciplinary educational programs that integrate arts and music into science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) courses.
I worked my way through community college, college, and law school, so I know how important it is to make higher education available and affordable. I've consistently opposed efforts to cut financial aid for low-income students, and I support robust funding for Pell Grants and legislation to prevent the doubling of Stafford loan interest rates. The growing amount of loan debt and default faced by graduates is a serious problem, and I am working with my colleagues to improve loan counseling, curb rising costs, and make repayment manageable for millions of current loan borrowers.
The future of our economy will rely on an educated and innovative workforce to create and fill the jobs of the 21st century. As the founder and co-chair of the Congressional STEAM Caucus, I'm working to ensure that today's K-12 and higher education programs meet our country's future needs, especially in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and design, and math) fields that produce skilled workers and creative thinkers.


More on Education

June 19, 2019 Press Release
Integrating arts and design into STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) creates more inclusive classrooms and inspires students to be more innovative.
June 6, 2019 Press Release
Students with disabilities who have worked hard to get to college should be able to access all of the services they need without having to overcome burdensome, expensive hurdles.
May 22, 2019 Press Release
During my years of work as a consumer protection attorney, I learned firsthand how strong consumer protection laws help to keep Americans financially secure.
May 20, 2019 Press Release
Stronger CAPTA is an important step toward making sure that all children grow up in a safe and healthy environment that allows them to reach their full potential.
May 16, 2019 Press Release
At nearly every step in this process, my colleagues and I have been frustrated by a lack of transparency, regarding Chemawa’s finances, governance, and student safety.
May 13, 2019 Press Release
In light of your admission that you are aware of the ongoing discrimination of transgender youth, we urge you to commit to using Title IX to protect these students. Specifically, we respectfully request that the Department reinstate the May 2016 Dear Colleague Letter on Transgender Students.
May 10, 2019 Press Release
Repeatedly, ACICS disregarded clear warning signs, failed to act quickly enough to protect students and taxpayers, and continued a troubling pattern of failure that has played itself out over and over again as students and taxpayers suffer the consequences.
May 10, 2019 In The News

A classroom of preschoolers at the Head Start facility near McBride Elementary School in St. Helens got a special visit Monday afternoon, May 6.

U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, a Democrat and longtime supporter of the federally funded Head Start program, and who also helped secure additional funding for the program in the 2018 omnibus spending bill, stopped by the school Monday to observe the educational program firsthand.

May 8, 2019 Press Release
Child maltreatment is a public health crisis and a threat to the future of our country.
May 6, 2019 Press Release
It is thrilling to see talented young artists submitting thoughtful work that expresses their views, experiences, hopes, dreams, and fears.