As the daughter of a retired Detroit public school teacher, I am a fierce advocate for Michigan’s public education system. From pre-K to higher education, I will always advocate for Michigan’s educators, students, and families.
Since coming to Congress, I have been a champion for STEM education and oversaw the House passage of the bipartisan National Science Foundation For the Future Act in 2021. The bill puts forth a suite of sweeping proposals – from scaling up PreK-12 STEM education research innovations to modernizing higher education student training. I am a founding member of the House Women in STEM Caucus and have introduced numerous bills aimed at leveling the playing field for women in science and technology.
In my role on the House Education and Labor Committee, I have been a fierce advocate for the expansion of apprenticeship and workforce development programs. My PARTNERS Act was passed in 2021 and it will ensure that small and medium sized businesses establish Registered Apprenticeships and work-based learning programs. Registered Apprenticeships and work-based learning programs provide individuals with paid, on-the-job training and classroom instruction. These investments are essential as our nation recovers from the economic consequences from the COVID-19 pandemic, and hundreds of thousands of workers have been displaced or dislocated. I have also advocated for record levels of funding for HBCU’s and increases in Pell Grant funding so our neediest students get the assistance they need to attend college.
For students who choose to attend 4-year universities, the cost of higher education is out of control. Over 45 million Americans owe a combined $1.6 trillion in student debt. That is more than two and a half times what they owed just a decade ago. The average student in Michigan graduates with over $31,000 in student loan debt. This burden of debt is unacceptable, and the hefty price tag of higher education makes college seem out of reach for too many Michiganders. We must also address predatory lending and some for-profit colleges who subject student borrowers to extreme costs without a return on a certified degree. Many of these students have been defrauded and they deserve relief. That is why I have championed legislation to protect student borrowers and allow them to more easily repay their loans and recently introduced my Clean Slate Through Consolidation Act.
In Congress, I will continue to fight for every Michigan student — whether they are 3 or 73. Education is the key to opportunity, and we must make sure every individual has the opportunity to pursue an educational track that will allow them to achieve the American Dream.