Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05)
Since I began my career in public service as a member of the Flint Board of Education, I have fought tirelessly for our schools. Our children deserve the best education possible, and our teachers deserve our complete support. Every child, no matter where they grow up, deserves a safe learning environment, highly trained teachers and the resources necessary to succeed in 21st century classrooms. Schools are the foundation of our communities and the future.
Early Education: A child’s education begins very early in life. In order for a child to start on a path to success, we need to invest in universal access to programs like Early Head Start and Head Start. These programs provide kids with essential wrap-around services to help in their development and can also help mitigate the effects of lead exposure in children.
In March 2016, I successfully advocated for a federal grant to expand Head Start and Early Head Start services in Flint. In March 2017, I also announced $5.5 million in federal grants to support new and expanded Early Head Start for children in the Flint area through Early Head Start Child Care Partnership programs.
K-12 Education: Our education system should support teachers, students and parents to ensure a high quality public education for everyone. Access to a quality education is a right that every child in Michigan should be afforded.
- Evaluating Students: In 2016, I supported the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act that will transform education policy to give local school districts more control over how to evaluate their students and teachers, and to support investments in education, including for teacher training, special education and after school programs.
- Before, After & Summer School programs: When I was growing up in Flint, our schools were the center of our community, and open from sunrise until sunset with a wide variety of programs to provide kids with constructive activities throughout the day. In Congress, I have been a staunch supporter of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program, which provides funding for before, after and summer school programs.
- Supporting our teachers: Our teachers play a large role in the lives of the children in our communities, and their important work should be celebrated. I will continue to support teachers in providing them with resources inside and outside the classroom as they nurture successful students.
Higher Education: More than 42 million Americans collectively owe nearly $1.3 trillion in federal student loan debt. This crushing debt is causing young folks to delay buying homes, starting families and saving for retirement. The impacts of this debt will have lifelong impacts on families. I am fighting to ensure that every family has access to a quality, affordable education, including college that provides them with the skills to find a job in our changing economy.
In Congress, I have introduced legislation to address student debt, including legislation to exempt students from having to pay taxes on scholarships and Pell grants, allow student loans to be discharged in bankruptcy, and prevent banks from calling an entire student loan if the cosigner of that loan dies, even if the student was up to date on their payments.
Finally, I support two years of free community college to every person in Michigan. This will help address the student loan debt and help with the skills gap impacting job growth in Michigan.