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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

April 28, 2021 Press Release
President Mitsui is a champion for community colleges, and I am grateful he testified at our hearing today about the support students need as we recover from the pandemic and build back better.
April 27, 2021 Press Release
Andrea Paluso has been a tireless advocate for families and caregivers, advancing legislative solutions and making a difference in the lives of women and families.
April 26, 2021 In The News

"These are challenging systems to navigate. We've been doing this for more than three years. We know we need benefit navigators to help students to do that," Mark Mitsui, president of Portland Community College, said during a conference call with Bonamici. "Federal agencies are great, but they do not have the capacity to weave each other's benefits around students when they most need it to get the education and training they need."

April 9, 2021 In The News

Yamhill County will receive more than $300,000 from the federal government this year as part of a program designed to replace some funding lost by the curtailment of logging on public lands in Oregon, Idaho and Washington decades ago. The Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program funnels money for schools, roads, law enforcement and other essential services. It is paid to 31 of Oregon's 36 counties, which lost billions of dollars when the federal government significantly reduced logging in the state in the 1990s.

April 8, 2021 In The News

The Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program funnels money for schools, roads, law enforcement and other essential services. It is paid to 31 of Oregon's 36 counties, which lost billions of dollars when the federal government significantly reduced logging in the state in the 1990s. All told this year, $39.3 million will reach Oregon counties, according to a release from U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, who co-authored the SRS legislation in 2000, as well as U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley and U.S. Reps. Peter Defazio, Suzanne Bonamici and Kurt Schrader.

April 6, 2021 In The News

“Our rural communities need support to recover from the coronavirus pandemic and build back better, and the millions of dollars in SRS payments for Oregon’s counties will make a meaningful difference,” Bonamici said. “This funding will help pay for essential services and support the schools, roads, and public services that are so important to rural Oregon. I will continue advocating for more resources to help all of our communities thrive.”  

April 6, 2021 Press Release


Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley along with U.S. Reps. Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici and Kurt Schrader said today that 31 Oregon counties will receive about $39.3 million in Secure Rural Schools (SRS) payments for schools, roads, law enforcement and other essential services.


April 1, 2021 In The News

On March 16, Bonamici and New York Rep. Jamaal Bowman reintroduced Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark’s Child Care is Infrastructure Act. The legislation establishes loan and grant programs for childcare facilities and early childhood educators to stem the childcare crisis in Oregon and around the country.

March 25, 2021 In The News

For Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark (D-MA), Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), and Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), what comes next is the Child Care is Infrastructure Act, a bill they recently reintroduced. This bill marks a turning point when we move beyond months of focusing on relief and short-term damage control, and start recognizing the importance of child care as a fundamental part of our long-term economic recovery.

March 25, 2021 In The News

"The Congressional Art Competition is an exciting opportunity for young artists to express themselves and share their creativity and vision through artwork," the four-term Democratic Congresswoman said in a prepared release. "The passion and creativity of young Oregonians is always inspiring and I enjoy every one of the pieces students have submitted in past years. By encouraging the arts, we promote well-rounded education that will benefit young adults moving forward in whatever career they choose."