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George continues his work to make college more affordable and to overhaul the No Child Left Behind Act so that every child access to a world-class education.
George is a nationally recognized advocate for public schools and a quality education for all children. He has dedicated his work in Congress to the notion that children in America’s public school should have access to world-class educational opportunities and all children have the right to an equal opportunity at a quality education. George’s first Committee assignment in the House of Representatives was on the Education committee. At the time, he noted that parents are deeply concerned about their children’s education, or lack of it. That concern -- and George’s commitment to addressing it -- is just as strong today.
George frequently visits with students, teachers, and parents to see first-hand what is happening in classrooms around his district. If you’d like to invite George to visit your school, please contact his scheduler in the Concord district office.
No Child Left Behind (Elementary and Secondary Education Act)
It has been ten years since the passage of No Child Left Behind, the most recent reauthorization of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The law, first passed in 1965 is intended to guarantee all children equal access to a quality education regardless of their background. But like any law, this one requires changes to reflect the everyday reality and changing needs of our schools. George and others in the education community agree that No Child is outdated and in fact is restraining schools from making the kinds of improvements needed to benefit students, communities and our economy.
George also knows that rewriting No Child can only happen through bipartisan consensus that serves the interests of all the nation’s children – in the same way that the law was first written and passed in 2000 thanks to collaboration between, the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, Republican member of the House and Senate, and then-President George W. Bush.
Unfortunately, the Republican majority on the Education and Workforce Committee recently released two highly partisan draft pieces of legislation in place of a whole-scale rewrite of NCLB that do not live up to our nation’s commitment to all of our children. Their move means that the rewrite of the law won’t happen this year and millions of schoolchildren will have to remain under the current broken system.
Read more about George’s work on ESEA.
Making College Affordable
One of George’s primary missions in Congress has been to improve college affordability and accessibility. As a graduate of public schools – he earned degrees from both Diablo Valley Community College and San Francisco State University before earning his law degree from U.C. Davis – he knows that an affordable education is key to successfully competing in the job market. Today, the cost of college is simply too much for middle class Americans. And that means too many students are forced to take on too much student loan debt and work long hours for pay while in school in order to graduate.
That’s why George fought so hard to pass legislation that lowered the interest rate many student pay for their loans and raised the amount of Pell Grant awards, among other steps. All without increasing the budget deficit by one nickel. His Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (SAFRA) transformed the way federal student loan programs operate. The bill invests billions of dollars in students and families, at no costs to taxpayers. The bill increases the annual Pell Grant scholarship, supports the Income-based student loan repayment system and makes federal student loans more reliable for students. Read more about SAFRA.
In 2007, George’s College Cost Reduction and Access Act (CCRAA) provided the single largest increase in college aid since the GI bill following WWII and did so at no cost to the taxpayers by cutting excess subsidies paid by the federal government to banks and other lenders in the student loan industry while making college more affordable to middle class students. Read more about the CCRAA.
Read more about George’s work to keep college affordable.
George agrees that, outside of the influence of parents, the single most important factor in determining a child's success in school is the quality of that child’s teacher. He knows that we ask our teachers to perform miracles every day in under-funded and over-crowded schools. To produce a highly competitive andinnovative workforce tomorrow, we must attract the best qualified teachers to our classrooms today. Read more about George’s support of teachers and educators.
Early Childhood Education
George understands the importance of high-quality early childhood education and is committed to improving access to high quality early education, like Head Start and child care, for all young Americans.
That is why he has opposed efforts by Congressional Republicans this Congress that would slash the Head Start budget while calling it an overpriced initiative with unproven benefits. Head Start provides early childhood education, health and nutritional services to low-income children and their families and is a critical part of efforts to fight the effects of poverty. Read more about his efforts on Head Start.
George knows that a solid early learning foundation, combined with access to quality elementary schools, helps children succeed later in school, helps America compete in a global market and gives all Americans an equal opportunity to succeed in life. In 2009, he authored legislation to create the Early Learning Challenge Fund to dramatically improve the quality of early learning opportunities across the country by creating a nation-wide competition to bring new ideas and new opportunities to our nation’s youngest learners.