Congressman George Miller is the Senior Democrat on the House Education and Workforce Committee and a leading advocate in Congress on education, labor, the economy, and the environment. First elected in 1975, he now represents the newly created 11th District of California in the East Bay of San Francisco, including the majority of Contra Costa County. He is a life-long Democrat and Californian.
George has served on the Education and Workforce Committee since first coming to Congress and was its chairman from 2007 through 2010. From 1991 to 1994, he chaired the House Natural Resources Committee, overseeing the environment, energy and public lands, and served as that committee’s Senior Democrat until 2000.
George’s top priorities in this Congress involve education and economic growth. He is working to ensure that all students have access to the skills, supports and knowledge to succeed in our economy and our society. And he is fighting to grow and strengthen America’s middle class, including stimulating economic growth that creates good American jobs. He has been working to forge a bi-partisan compromise to reauthorize federal k-12 education law, ensure that the historic Affordable Care Act that he co-wrote is fully implemented, and provide meaningful student aid programs to every eligible student.
This year, George launched a new legislative initiative to boost the use of hi-tech resources in public schools. The Transforming Education Through Technology Act would require states and school districts to develop plans and policies that put the best technology in the hands of students and teachers to support learning and achievement for all students, including allowing students and teachers to receive real-time feedback, exchange information, and connect instantly with peers beyond school walls.
In 2011 and 2012, George supported the Empowering Parents through Quality Charter Schools Act – bipartisan legislation that took several steps to increase charter schools’ accountability to their students, the community, and charter school boards. The bill made critical improvements to ensure that charter schools share innovative practices to improve all public schools. Under this reauthorization of the charter school program, students with disabilities, English language learners and other traditionally underserved students will have increased opportunities to attend and succeed at high-quality charter schools.
In 2009, in response to the worst recession since the Great Depression, George helped craft President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to save and create millions of jobs, invest in education, and move the economy forward. The law included historic investments to spur education reform, including the Race to the Top program, which has encouraged states to modernize their schools, reward excellent teachers, and use data to help increase student achievement.
George also played a central role in working with President Obama to transform federal student loan programs to make accessing an affordable postsecondary education a reality for more students. The changes he succeeded at enacting into law are helping to ensure that public policies work in the best interest of students, not big banks. By eliminating the banking middleman and wasteful subsidies paid to banks, the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2010 is saving $60 billion in taxpayer money and investing that money in student aid and college completion. And the law does all this without increasing the deficit; in fact the law reduces the deficit over the next ten years. The law raised the Pell Grant scholarship to its highest level in history, decreased interest rates on need-based student loans and invested in community college and Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
George was born in Richmond, CA, on May 17, 1945 and lives in Martinez. He graduated from Diablo Valley Community College, San Francisco State University, and earned his law degree from the University of California, Davis, Law School. He served on the staff of then-State Senate Majority Leader George Moscone in Sacramento. He is married to Cynthia Caccavo Miller, a life-long resident of Contra Costa County. They have two sons, George and Stephen, and six grandchildren.
Updated: February 2013