For most of my childhood, I was educated in the public school system of upstate New York. I understand that a high-quality public education is the key to creating opportunities that will allow our children to realize the American dream. As my parents taught me, it is the great equalizer and the gateway to opportunity. Along with many of our region’s educators, school boards, parents, and students, I oppose the appointment of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. I believe that our children are our greatest resource, but for years, they have been treated like failing commodities. We need to invest in public education to make sure that all of our children get the education they deserve. For those who dream of going to college, I am working to make college more affordable for every member of our district, by supporting the expansion of Pell Grants and increasing opportunities for student loan forgiveness and relief, including through public service. That means new opportunities both for high school kids as well as folks who want to go to college later in life.
Lastly, while college was my ticket to building a better life for my family, many kids see a different future for themselves. College should not be the only way to the middle class. We need to reinvest in trade and vocational schools and apprenticeship programs that teach our kids the real world skills that they need to get good-paying jobs—the kind that used to be enough to build a good life, with a home, family, and savings for retirement.