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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

May 27, 2020 Press Release
It is unacceptable that Sec. DeVos and the Department of Education are causing them even more financial distress by failing to provide adequate oversight of student loan servicers.
May 15, 2020 Press Release
Our nation is experiencing unprecedented job loss as our communities deal with a global health pandemic that is responsible for the deaths of more than 85,000 individuals in our country in just the past few months.
May 6, 2020 Statements


Secretary DeVos and the US Department of Education should be helping students, families, educators, and schools deal with a pandemic of unprecedented proportion; instead, they have just released a new Title IX rule that will reduce protections for sexual assault survivors and create inconsistent standards at schools and college campuses across America. This is unacceptable.


May 6, 2020 Press Release
The coronavirus crisis has hit the child care system especially hard, causing widespread layoffs and mandatory closures.
May 2, 2020 In The News

Growing Seeds Learning Community has cared for thousands of young children in Portland since it opened its doors in 2004. Earlier this year, Growing Seeds North, the child care center’s largest outpost, was welcoming 160 students a day. That changed on March 23 when Oregon Gov. Kate Brown issued a statewide stay home order in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.

April 29, 2020 In The News

A little over a month ago, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown gave child care centers a choice: continue to operate with a focus on the children of “essential workers,” or shut your doors. Nearly half closed. 

“Child care businesses operate on razor-thin margins, and without significant support many of them won’t make it to the other side of the pandemic,” said U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Beaverton.

April 23, 2020 In The News

SALEM, OR (KPTV) - Gov. Kate Brown on Thursday evening announced that she will extend orders to keep daycares in Oregon closed, unless facilities are approved as emergency childcare services.

Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici said she’s calling for $50 billion for providers, families and child care workers in the next coronavirus response package.

April 23, 2020 In The News

Even with the downsizing, CEO Jarod Hobbs, Dory's husband, estimates Atlas can only hold on until mid-June, and that's if current enrollment holds steady. He's hoping that financial relief will arrive in the form of a federal loan or a $50 billion stimulus child care relief package backed by NAEYC and some members of Congress, including Oregon Rep. Suzanne Bonamici and Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden. The lawmakers, along with child care providers, will hold a press briefing via Zoom on Thursday to tout the stimulus proposal.

April 22, 2020 In The News

Momentum is building for a proposed $50 billion stimulus package for the nation's child care industry. 

Proposed by advocacy groups including the National Association for the Education of Young Children in late March, members of Congress are signing on to back the measure, including Oregon Rep. Suzanne Bonamici and Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden. 

April 14, 2020 In The News

EUGENE, Ore. -- Financial help could soon be on its way for child care workers in the form of $50 billion.

Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, Sen. Jeff Merkley, and Sen. Ron Wyden called on leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives to provide $50 billion to support the already-struggling child care sector in the next coronavirus pandemic response package.