Congressman Blumenauer believes that a strong and continuing federal support for education is absolutely essential to our success, 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.
Throughout his career, Blumenauer has been an advocate for a strong K-12 public education system for all. He does this by supporting:
- Universal Pre-kindergarten programs, such as Head Start, which are particularly critical to the success of young students of color. In 2017 alone, Head Start Oregon served nearly 18,000 children and their families in Oregon.
- Adequate federal funding for K-12 public education;
- Protections to end discrimination against students based on sexual orientation or gender identity, including not allowing students to use the bathroom for the gender which they identify;
- Full funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) to meet the needs of every student, no matter ability level;
- Federal investment in crumbling school infrastructure to rebuild and renew American public schools;
- Increased investment in Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs that provide alternative pathways to success for students in Oregon; and
- Commonsense gun violence prevention measures to protect our students from the threat of mass shootings.
Congressman Blumenauer also strongly supports efforts invest in higher education to make college more accessible, including:
- Increasing 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;
- 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;
- Allowing students to refinance their student loans and enjoy the same low interest offered to large financial institutions;
- Efforts to crack down on predatory for-profit colleges that take advantage of some of our most vulnerable students;
- Providing in-state tuition rates for refugees and asylees;
- Strong Title IX protections so that students, no matter their gender, feel safe on their college campus. This includes higher standards for how universities handle allegations of sexual assault and attempt to prevent assaults from occurring in the first place; and
- Adequate funding for community colleges, which provide a low- to no-cost alternative for students seeking continuing education with flexibility.
To learn more about how ESSA is being implemented in Oregon, please visit the Oregon Department of Education’s website.