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Mike on Education
Federal support for our nation's public schools is insufficient. In 2001, Congress and President Bush had an opportunity to change that with "No Child Left Behind (NCLB)." Unfortunately, this legislation did little to improve our public schools. I was one of only 41 members of the House to vote against NCLB because at the time, I did not think the federal government was fulfilling its existing obligations and I feared it would not do enough to help states meet the additional requirements imposed under NCLB. Unfortunately, these concerns proved to be well founded. In the years since NCLB became law, President Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress consistently underfunded NCLB by billions of dollars. NCLB has been due for reauthorization for quite some time, and I will continue to work to direct necessary funding to our schools so that they may make essential improvements.
The role of the federal government in the education of our children should not stop with a high school diploma. With 34 colleges and universities located entirely or partially in my district, I recognize the important role higher education plays in keeping America competitive in the global marketplace. I have consistently supported student aid programs like Pell Grants, GEAR UP, and TRIO in order to keep college affordable for all Americans. One of our country's founding principles was a belief that each person should have the opportunity to develop his or her potential. In order to make this ideal a reality and help our students compete, we must work to make college more affordable and accessible for all of our students. We have made some progress on this front, most notably by increasing the Pell Grant maximum under President Obama, but we must do more to make sure that a college education is not out of reach.
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