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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

December 18, 2018 Press Release
The Federal Commission on School Safety’s recommendations prove once again that the Trump Administration is not acting in the best interest of students.
December 12, 2018 Press Release
These deeply troubling findings confirm the initial reporting that [Education Department officials] - either knowingly or unknowingly - cited or relied on false and misleading information to reach the conclusion that ACICS's federal recognition should be restored.
December 4, 2018 Press Release
Creativity and innovation are key to our economy and essential to future economic growth.
October 29, 2018 In The News

On Thursday, U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici was shown plans for the Outdoor Museum, which will run along the three-quarter-of-mile trail from Main Street to Tiedeman Avenue, during a tour attended by city officials, planners and the project's lead urban designer.

The paved trail, already in place, begins directly to the east of the Symposium Coffee/Tigard Chamber of Commerce building.

October 19, 2018 Press Release
ACICS has long faced concerns about its ability to meet federal standards.
October 16, 2018 Press Release
Today’s decision by the U.S. District Court in Washington, DC sends a clear message to Secretary DeVos: the Department of Education must stop putting the interest of for-profit companies before the interest of students.
October 12, 2018 In The News

National Manufacturing Day, recently held on Oct. 5, is designed to get teenagers excited about going into manufacturing, whether entry level at 18 or later after a college degree.

September 15, 2018 In The News

Visitors flocked to the Heights Elementary School in Seaside Saturday for a groundbreaking and celebration of the new campus construction project.

“What a great day for Seaside!” State Sen. Betsy Johnson said. “You guys have laid down an example not only for this town, but Clatsop County and this state in preparedness and visionary determination to bring this to a conclusion. Today’s the start. We’ll be back when we open the doors and cut the ribbon.”

September 10, 2018 Press Release
Secretary DeVos’s decision to allow gun purchases with federal education funds is in direct contravention to the program’s authorizing statute, recent Congressional action, and longstanding policy governing the distribution of federal funds. Congress must uphold federal law and decisively prohibit such action through the FY19 Labor-HHS funding bill.
September 6, 2018 Press Release
Many bright and motivated people simply cannot afford to take an unpaid internship, no matter how prestigious it might be, because they need to earn money to continue paying for college or to support themselves or their families.