Education is a pathway to greater opportunity and economic security. It is the lynchpin of the American Dream. I am committed to ensuring all Americans have access to an affordable, quality education at every level, from pre-K through college and beyond.
We must equip our nation’s elementary and secondary schools with the best possible resources in order to help prepare our students for their future. That means increasing federal funding for crucial education programs and grants to local schools, as well as repairing and updating classroom infrastructure. Our students cannot thrive in schools that have leaking ceilings, classrooms without heat or air conditioning, and contaminated drinking water. They need a safe environment and high-quality equipment to succeed. We must also ensure that the teachers who mentor our students have what they need to prosper by providing all school employees with higher wages, paid leave, and first-rate benefits.
But we cannot stop advocating for students once they graduate high school, particularly given the increasing barriers they face in pursuing higher education. The rising cost of college and post-secondary education and training is limiting the opportunities and mobility of our future workforce. College debt has increased 170 percent since 2006 and now exceeds $1.5 trillion dollars, making it harder for borrowers to succeed, build wealth or contribute to economic growth. That burden of debt has a disproportionate impact for students of color and working-class students, perpetuating our nation’s growing equality gap.
I am fighting for our students by pushing polices that will address the rising cost of college. That includes polices like establishing tuition-free college and eliminating the existing student loan debt that’s currently holding millions of Americans back. Enacting such plans will ensure that everyone - regardless of their income or zip code, the color of their skin or their parents’ occupation - has access to a quality, affordable education.
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WASHINGTON—Rep. Ilhan Omar released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reversed their decision to extend waivers that will allow states and schools the flexibility to more easily operate emergency summer meal programs until the end of this year. Last week, she co-led a letter to condemn USDA’s decision to end the school meal waiver program.
WASHINGTON— Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) wrote a letter in response to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue’s claim that extending school meal waivers would go beyond the scope of the USDA’s authority. The members previously wrote a letter to Secretary Perdue earlier this month to ask for an extension of school meal waivers.
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