The key to a successful middle class in the 21st century is education. The right to an extensive, high quality education should be afforded to all students, regardless of socioeconomic status. Education is the gateway out of poverty and is necessary for the middle class to thrive. I support the following initiatives in order to equip our youth and lifelong-learners with the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century.
- Support Early Childhood Education. We must invest more in successful programs like Head Start, The keys to a successful life begin with early childhood education. This program expands access to quality early childhood education for low income families.
- Boost STEM Education. As a scientist, I’m very passionate about investing in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. It is essential to preparing our students and teachers for global competitiveness. The jobs of the future that we talked about 15-20 years ago are here now. We need to make sure we are preparing our preschoolers, community college and college graduates for the jobs that are available in our 21st Century Economy. STEM education provides the skill sets necessary for these students to succeed.
- College Affordability. Many of our students face insurmountable amounts of debt when graduating from college, only to find the job market is less than friendly. Besides working with educational institutions to cut the outrageously high costs of college we can support students with debt right now. We need to allow students with debt to refinance their loans as soon as possible and reduce interest rates to manageable levels so students don’t enter the workforce with crushing debt.