Mike believes we must ensure that every child in our communities has the opportunity to achieve their full potential, regardless of the neighborhood they come from, and that our education system must prepare students well for the jobs of the future. He believes that our teachers are heroes and should be at the core of any plan to improve public schools.
Mike has been an advocate for our local public schools, working to make sure they receive the resources they need to hire and keep excellent teachers, reduce class sizes, and invest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs. Mike believes we need to focus on training and retraining teachers, especially in STEM, special education, and bilingual instruction. Mike believes that we must address an increasingly dire teacher shortage by improving college loan forgiveness programs; addressing housing accessibility; and making it easier for retired teachers to return to the classroom and provide mentorship.
Since he was elected, Mike has promoted policies to help guarantee that any student can afford college. He authored legislation to provide stronger protections for students if their college or university shuts down, to make the student loan process more transparent, and to expand the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program for graduates who work at Veteran Service Organizations. All of those bills were included in the College Affordability Act, a comprehensive reauthorization of the Higher Education Act that makes higher education more affordable and strengthens the quality of colleges and universities.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mike joined legislation to allow 2020 graduates to defer federal student loan payments, fought for more relief funding for schools like San Onofre Elementary and Mary Fay Elementary that qualify for the federal Impact Aid program, and helped secure more than $44 million in federal funding under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, more than half of which went directly to students in the form of emergency cash grants to help them pay for housing, food, and other essentials. And throughout the pandemic, he fought for more state and local funding to help schools educate safely and reopen when appropriate.
Mike will always look out for public schools, our heroic teachers, and students who are struggling to afford higher education.