As the first in his family to go to college, Ed knows that our education system is what makes our country strong. That is why he has fought in the Senate to give our children the best possible opportunities to succeed.
An outspoken opponent against the appointment of Betsy DeVos as the Secretary of Education, Ed has worked to combat the Trump administration’s devastating cuts to the proposed federal education budget. Our public schools must be well-funded and we have to continue to empower the teachers unions who fight to improve them.
Ed has also worked to secure funding and federal investment to renovate and build new schools to replace ones that are dangerous for students and teachers. In 2016, he authored the report, “The ABCs of PCBs”, which revealed harmful chemicals in the building materials of many schools across the country. These toxins pose serious health risks to exposed students and teachers.
As a part of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, Ed included ground-breaking provisions that established the “E-rate” program for schools and libraries, bringing broadband to neighborhoods and students around the nation. His vision for the program was inspired by a visit he made to his cousin’s elementary school classroom. When the then-Representative asked the students what they would like to improve in their school, the answer was unanimous: more computers. Ed knows that no student should be left behind, and that equal access to technology and the Internet is vital to leveling the playing field for our children.
Ed is a longtime supporter of the Head Start Program, which promotes comprehensive early childhood education, health, nutrition, and parent services for low-income children and families. Head Start students receive services that are otherwise unaffordable, ensuring that every child has the ability to succeed.
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Our schools are in need of expanded mental health services, and Ed has fought to provide the funding for an increased number of school psychologists and guidance counselors. He is a strong supporter of better integration and collaboration between schools and communities so that services are not interrupted over winter and summer vacations.
When it comes to secondary education, Ed supports free in-state public college, and has co-sponsored multiple bills that would cap the student loan interest rate at the lowest possible rate, in an effort to make college more affordable for students and families throughout our Commonwealth.
Ed wants to ensure that college is affordable and accessible for families of every socio-economic situation. That’s why he has consistently supported increasing the maximum Pell Grant award and introduced the Jumpstart on College Act, which would improve student access to college, increase affordability, and lead to higher degree completion rates by expanding dual enrollment and early college high school programs, particularly for low-income and underrepresented students.