As a former UC Regent, CSU Trustee, parent to six, and grandparent to ten, education and science are top priorities for Congressman Garamendi.
I believe all our students, from pre-kindergarten to the post-graduate university level, deserve every opportunity to advance and prosper. Indeed, our economy’s long term growth depends on a well educated, innovative workforce.
I also believe that scientific research is one of our nation’s most important investments, creating jobs and entirely new sectors of our economy while making our research universities the best in the world. Clean energy, innovative water recycling and water use technology, and advances in the space program will all help America prosper and grow in the coming century. For this reason, I am a strong proponent of technology transfers converting public research into private industry and jobs.
I am a former University of California regent and California State University trustee who believes there are few priorities more important than keeping college costs low to make sure that no qualified student is priced out of an education.
As a Member of Congress, I was proud to support a $36 billion expansion of the Pell Grant scholarship for lower income students and voted to make student loans more affordable by removing profiteers from the industry. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reports that by converting to a direct loan system, this policy will save taxpayers $61 billion over 10 years.
I am also a strong supporter of President Obama’s “Pay As You Earn” plan. The plan would allow six million students to consolidate their federal loans into a single payment per month, cap their loan payments at 10 percent of discretionary income (down from 15 percent), and forgive student loan debt after 20 years. This plan is especially important for students facing a downgraded job market and rising tuition costs. I helped the lead the fight against Republican efforts to double the Stafford Student Loan interest rate.
I am passionate about closing the achievement gap in our nation’s schools and committed to providing teachers with the tools they need to do their jobs, especially lower class sizes. I have always supported robust investments in our schools, especially in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education and in vocational training. When we let students slip through the cracks, their potential is limited, and our country loses future skilled workers. In Congress, I will continue doing all I can to make sure that every American – and especially the next generation – can pursue the American dream.
For more information concerning my work and views on education and science, please contact my Washington, DC office. I look forward to your feedback. Thank you.
--Congressman John Garamendi