Congressman Blumenauer believes that a strong and continuing federal support for education is absolutely essential to our success in the 21st century, especially in times of higher enrollments and rapidly emerging new technologies.  A strong educational system creates citizens who develop sound reasoning skills, innovative thinking, and creative problem-solving skills – attributes that help them not only compete in an increasingly global economy, but contribute to the vitality and sustainability of their own communities. Numerous studies have shown that every dollar spent on education has a multiplier effect on the future of our children, communities, and economy. Supporting strong and vibrant schools is perhaps the most fundamental way we can show our commitment to the future success of them all.

Throughout his career, Blumenauer has been a strong advocate for all phases of our education system, from early childhood education to college and universities.

  • He has been a vocal supporter of Head Start. This pre-kindergarten program is an important investment in our future and plays a major role in educating disadvantaged children. Since its inception in 1965, it has reached over 21 million children nationwide, and over 214,000 children and their families in Oregon.

  • Congressman Blumenauer strongly supports efforts to make college more accessible, including:

  • Increasing or maintaining Pell Grant funding levels to ensure as much support for students as possible, expanding Pell for year-round use, and extending Pell Grants to incarcerated persons; 

  • Fully funding workforce training programs such as TriO and the Perkins grant program, which help prepare students for the workforce; 

  • Supporting Oregon’s unique career pathways program, which uses federal and state dollars efficiently to guide students from their k-12 experience through higher education into the workforce

  • Joining Senator Elizabeth Warren in supporting legislation allowing students to refinance their student loans and enjoy the same low interest offered to large financial institutions; and 

  • Supporting the administration's efforts to crack down on predatory for-profit colleges that take advantage of some of our most vulnerable students. 

  • Educational success is simply not possible without good teachers, which is why Congressman Blumenauer voted for emergency funding to save teachers’ jobs and keep our schools open. In 2010, this legislation saved over 160,000 teachers’ jobs across the country, at least 2,000 in Oregon and at least 430 in the Third Congressional District alone.

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is overdue for reauthorization. Blumenauer will continue to stand strong to support programs that provide measurable performance standards for schools and students, reward cost-effective and innovating programs, and help provide a superior education for America’s youth.  He will also continue to resist cuts for vital education programs such as Title 1 Grants, Even Start programs, Special Education Grants, Pell Grants, Vocational and Adult Education grants and programs, and grants for Workforce Investment Act Job Training.

Congressman Blumenauer strongly supported passage of the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which ended 14 years of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), a law that forced students, teachers, and schools to deliver results on high-stakes standardized tests that reflected little more than a student's ability to take a test. ESSA provides increased funding, needed-certainty, and flexibility to state and local leaders to set more well-rounded standards for student achievement.  

To learn more about how ESSA is being implemented in Oregon, please visit the Oregon Department of Education’s website.