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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

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Oregon U.S. Democratic Rep. Suzanne Bonamici chairs the Civil Rights and Human Services subcommittee of the Education and Labor committee, in the House. “Some schools in NW Oregon have been able to reopen, but many have not,” said Bonamici in a statement Friday. “We all want students and educators back in schools, but they need resources to make sure everyone is safe. This funding will help with PPE, cleaning supplies, ventilation and more.

February 22, 2021 Press Release


WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Representatives Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Sam Graves (R-MO), and Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) led a bipartisan group of 94 Members of Congress introducing a resolution to recognize this week as “Public Schools Week.” At a time when 90% of all students in the United States attend public school and states are working closely with teachers to ensure schools can safely reopen, Congress has a duty to prioritize strengthening and investing in our nation’s public schools.

February 22, 2021 In The News

U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, who chairs the House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services, said the money can be used to purchase personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies and increase ventilation, among other things, in order to bolster in-person education during an age of illness. "Some schools in Northwest Oregon have been able to reopen, but many have not," said Bonamici, who represents much of the metro area's west side. "We all want students and educators back in schools, but they need resources to make sure everyone is safe."

February 19, 2021 Press Release
We all want students and educators back in schools, but they need resources to make sure everyone is safe.
February 19, 2021 Press Release
As a mother of two, I know how essential quality child care is for working families, children, and our economy.
February 11, 2021 In The News

Additionally, Bonamici’s focus has been on the College Affordability Act in an attempt to close the existing equity gap. One component is increasing diversity within the education workforce. Nationally, students of color make up the majority of U.S. public schools while only 20% of teachers are persons of color, according to Bonamici. “The role of the federal government in education is about promoting equity and making sure those opportunities are there for everyone,” she said. “Safeguarding and expanding those educational opportunities and improving outcomes for all students.”

February 8, 2021 Press Release
I am grateful for the opportunity to continue serving as Chair of the Civil Rights and Human Services Subcommittee.