As a mother and former teacher, I understand the importance of hiring and retaining qualified teachers for our Arizona public schools. For our children to succeed, we must invest in a world-class public education.
We compete in a global economy that is increasingly driven by technological and scientific innovation; ensuring high-quality science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teaching and vocational training is vital for the well-being of Arizona and the nation.
I believe it is time for Congress to act and enforce more affordable higher education options for young people. Throughout my career, I have fought to restore funding for Arizona’s higher education system and to protect the Pell Grants that turn the dream of college into a reality for thousands of Arizonans.
We must change the vicious cycle of young people graduating from college and entering a lifetime of debt. Educated and working Americans with high monthly student loan payments must often make terrible financial sacrifices, and that can start with their inability to purchase a home or save for retirement. Congress must work on passing legislation that incentivizes student loan contributions for employers by making it tax-free. In addition, Congress can and should support free tuition at local community colleges in return for a student’s public work or service.
The future strength of our country relies on the success of our young people; I believe it is Congress’ responsibility to lift the heavy financial burdens weighing down students and future leaders.