Mike believes that we must work to ensure that every child in the 49th Congressional District has the opportunity to achieve their full potential, 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 strongly opposes the Trump Administration’s desire to privatize public education. 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, Arts and Math (STEAM) programs. Mike believes we need to focus on training and retraining teachers, especially in STEAM, 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 last year, Mike has been working to promote policies that would guarantee that any student who qualifies to attend college is able to do so affordably, and that our community colleges serve as increasingly important centers for job training and placement. Mike believes that it is unconscionable that students are burdened by hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan debt before they even enter the workforce. This is why he’s a strong advocate for legislative solutions like the College Affordability Act, which would lower college tuition costs for students and families.
During his first term, Mike has:
- Co-sponsored legislation to reduce the substantial burden of student loan debt on college students and graduates in our country, including the College Affordability Act.
- Sponsored the Student Loan Contract Act of 2019 to clarify federal loan paperwork.
- Co-sponsored legislation to help college students meet their basic needs, including the Basic Assistance for Students in College Act.
- Co-sponsored the bipartisan IDEA Full Funding Act, to guarantee full federal funding for Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Act.
- Co-sponsored the Rebuild America’s Schools Act, to provide long-term funding for the improvement of public education facilities nationwide.
- Supported and cosponsored the bipartisan Employer Participation in Repayment Act of 2019, to expand the tax exclusion for employer-provided educational assistance to include payments of qualified education loans by an employer to either an employee or a lender.
- Co-sponsored the COVID-19 Graduate Relief Act, to allow 2020 college graduates to defer payments on their federal student loans for up to three years. To learn more about the work Mike has been doing to address the public health and economic impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, please click here.