As a father, I share the concerns of our nation's parents about the quality of education and its effect on current and future generations. The success of our nation depends on a strong education system and greater opportunities for students. Ultimately, I believe that state and local governments have the primary responsibility for developing the education systems that best suit the needs of their students. The federal government, through misguided regulatory power grabs, a takeover of the student loan industry, and the forced subsidization of local schools, has succeeded only in driving the performance of our public school system in to the ground.
With the recent enactment of the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which I supported, our elementary and secondary schools have greater authority and flexibility to implement teacher evaluations and specialized programs that better benefit their students. We must support communities, parents and teachers to ensure our children are receiving the education that will set them on a path to future success.
The quality of our higher education system must also be addressed. In today's job market, it is clear that attaining a post-secondary degree means far greater opportunities for our young people. With an increasing share of the school demographic being either low-income, first generation, or returning students, it is imperative that we work with our institutions and federal programs to better adapt them for the needs of non-traditional students. As Co-Chair of the California Public Higher Education Caucus, I will continue to work with my colleagues to advocate for solutions that will improve quality, affordability, and accessibility.
See also information on student financial aid.