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Education is an investment in our future, and the government should treat it that way — by increasing teachers’ pay, equitably funding public education, and helping more students have access to quality, affordable higher education.

Here is how I’d like to see us do that:

Increase resources for our public schools. Our public schools can’t give our children the education they deserve without sufficient funds. That’s why I have advocated for critical funding and support for our local school districts, particularly those like the Allentown School District that have historically received less funding. Through my position on the House Committee on Education and Labor, I secured billions in federal funding for Pennsylvania schools during the COVID-19 crisis to make sure schools could reopen safely, students could catch up, and provide schools with the extra resources needed to address the effects of the pandemic. When I helped pass the American Rescue Plan, the Allentown School District alone received approximately $100 million in federal funding, and schools throughout Pennsylvania received $5 billion. This funding continues to be used today to ensure schools can remain open safely and students continue learning in their classrooms. And that’s why I support the Rebuild America’s Schools Act, which would authorize bold infrastructure investment in public school facilities to create jobs, improve educational equity, and ensure better working conditions for teachers and school employees.

Make college affordable. Congress needs to treat student loan debt as a threat to our country’s future prosperity. The more than $1.5 trillion currently owed by young Americans is hamstringing an entire generation — depressing entrepreneurship, preventing investments like home ownership, and hurting our economy. This has been one of my top priorities in Congress. It’s why we need to pass the College Affordability Act, which will make higher education more accessible and affordable for everyone.

Inspire young women in STEM. Women hold fewer than 35 percent of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics jobs in America. Closing this disparity should be a goal at every level of government, and I will continue working to ensure federal tax dollars devoted to STEM education are used to promote women’s participation in these areas.

Put us on a path toward universal preschool education. Investing in our children even earlier than kindergarten enhances their development and leads to later success, that's why I have worked to increase funding for Head Start, the most effective early childhood development program ever created. I’m also a cosponsor of the Child Care for Working Families Act, which will make early learning programs and childcare more affordable for working families. And, as we saw clearly during the pandemic, high-quality, affordable child care and preschool are essential to many parents’ ability to remain in the workforce and to businesses’ ability to retain their employees.

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