“As the proud parent of two children who were educated in our public schools, I know firsthand the importance of quality education and safe, well-run schools. The strength of our nation will be determined by the accessibility and quality of the education we provide to all Americans, no matter what they can afford or where they live. And I’m committed to fighting for the kind of education system our children deserve, and our future demands.”
– Rep. Adam Schiff
The crisis of college affordability has set an entire generation of Americans at a disadvantage, saddling them with debt and diminishing their prospects for long-term financial success. Rep. Adam Schiff believes the doors to higher education should be open to all, no matter their financial circumstances, which is why he is fighting for student loan forgiveness, the expansion of Pell Grants, and college affordability for all. Adam also recognizes the vitality of early childhood education and has been a strong advocate for strengthening Pre-K and K-12 programs so that the youngest among us can be set up for success.
Affordable and Accessible Higher Education
Far too many students who pursue higher education find themselves overwhelmed by debt, and Americans owe an astounding $1.7 trillion in student loan debt – the second-highest form of consumer debt behind mortgage debt, and debt that hits people of color disproportionately. After graduating from school, Adam paid more in student loan debt than in rent and understands the psychological strain that this burden places upon our young people. That’s why Adam believes we must make a concerted effort to bring down the costs of higher education and alleviate the debt that goes with it. Adam supports canceling at least $50,000 in student loan debt for every borrower, as a first step toward putting an end to this crisis before it crushes yet another generation.
As a longtime supporter of Pell Grants, Adam voted to raise the maximum award per student to its highest level ever. He has also continuously opposed attempts to lower the maximum award and will continue to make sure students who want to attend an institution of higher education can do so. Adam also supports initiatives to streamline the ability of students to access information about federal student aid, and to ensure that all graduating students are familiar with their options for repaying their loans upon graduation.
Making Early Childhood Education a Reality for All
Adam believes that we must make early education available to all children, including children whose parents cannot afford preschool or childcare. Not only does early education help prepare kids for primary school, but it also ensures that our nation has the flexible and innovative minds needed for future economic growth and discovery, and helps families with childcare costs.
Since 1965, Head Start has helped more than 30 million low-income preschool children establish a solid foundation for their future education with a wide range of early education and health services. Rep. Schiff has long supported increased funding for Head Start and Early Head Start, fighting to ensure these programs benefit as many children as possible. Adam is also a strong advocate for President Biden’s American Families Plan, which would, among other things, make universal childcare and preschool a reality for every American family.
Adam strongly supports the Build Back Better Act, which would dramatically increase the resources available to families for childcare. In California, more than 1.4 million children could benefit from the expanded childcare included in this critical legislation.
Strengthening K-12 Education
Congress has been working to reform the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, more commonly known as “No Child Left Behind,” which was signed into law by President George W. Bush. Adam believes that any reform needs to consider first the views of those most affected by the law – students, parents, teachers, and administrators – if it is going to truly improve education in our country. Accountability must include a variety of measures of performance, while also leaving room for teachers, parents, and school administrators – the people who know students best – to exercise their judgment on how to teach their students in different environments. Rep. Schiff continues to support robust funding for programs created by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as well as the Individuals with Disabilities Act and a host of other education programs that reflect his commitment to making sure every child has a first-class public education.
Safety at School
In an effort to combat bullying in schools, Adam is a co-sponsor of the Safe Schools Improvement Act, which would require school districts to have clear anti-bullying and anti-harassment policies. The Safe Schools Improvement Act would also require the reporting of the number and nature of bullying incidents for each school annually, so that parents can be better informed about the frequency of such episodes in their child’s school. Adam is also a co-sponsor of the Student Non-Discrimination Act, which would prohibit a school from discriminating against a student based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Combined, these two bills would go a long way towards ensuring that all students feel safe in our schools.
Our students' success will determine our future, and it is up to us to ensure that every student has access to an environment that allows them to reach their full potential. Schiff is a proud cosponsor of the Mental Health in Schools Act, which would increase funding for and expand the scope of the "Safe Schools-Healthy Students" program in order to provide access to more comprehensive school-based mental health services. It would also provide staff development for school and community service personnel, as well as training for children with mental health disorders, their parents, siblings, other family members, and concerned members of the community.
Finally, Adam is a strong supporter of efforts to decrease gun violence in our communities, including schools. The trauma that generations of students have faced due to gun violence in the halls of our nation’s schools must end. He will continue to advocate for comprehensive, commonsense measures to decrease gun violence, which have been opposed by Republicans in Congress and gun organizations like the National Rifle Association.
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