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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

August 6, 2020 Press Release
If our nation values our teachers, our children, and our future, we must commit the appropriate resources and efforts to our public education system.
August 5, 2020 Press Release
Child care is foundational to our economy and working families, and I’m proud to be fighting to save the child care system.
August 4, 2020 In The News

The Representatives and Senators responded to an interim final rule from the U.S. Department of Education that incorrectly interprets the equitable services provision of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) and improperly diverts federal emergency aid dollars intended for public schools to private school students—without regard to need or income. Their letter details the numerous ways that the Department’s rule disregards the CARES Act and existing law, including waiving the mandatory 30-day waiting period for this rule to take effect. 

August 4, 2020 Press Release
We will not allow this unlawful, ideological ploy by Betsy DeVos to push through a misguided rule that would take $11 million from our public school students and send it to private schools.
July 30, 2020 In The News

Suzanne Bonamici, the US House representative for Oregon, helped introduce legislation on Thursday to make all students eligible for free school meals this school year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The legislation, called the Pandemic Child Hunger Prevention Act, would allow kids to access breakfast, lunch, and afterschool snack programs in school or through “grab-and-go” and delivery options.

The effort is co-led by several other representatives and officials.

July 30, 2020 Press Release
Nutritious meals help students stay healthy while they learn and grow. For many children, school meals provided their primary source of nutrition before the pandemic, and now even more families struggle to put food on their tables because of unemployment and unexpected financial distress.
July 29, 2020 Press Release
Child care is one of the most urgent and stressful issues facing families during this pandemic, and stabilizing it will be a key factor in reopening our communities safely.
July 16, 2020 Press Release
Child care is essential to the well-being of families and our economy, but too many working families are faced with stress and few – if any – options regarding care for their children because child care is too expensive or unavailable.
July 13, 2020 Statements
Make no mistake – Secretary DeVos’ plan to force schools to reopen is dangerous to students, educators, and school staff.
July 10, 2020 Press Release
ICE's new policy is irrational and xenophobic, and risks the health of students, faculty, and staff.