It is our responsibility to ensure every child in the United States has access to a world-class education, no matter where they live or how much money their family makes. In classrooms in our communities, teachers and administrators are doing incredible work to educate our kids and prepare them to succeed, especially in the challenging teaching environment created by COVID-19. However, Congress needs to do more to support their work. To guarantee all students can succeed, we must invest in helping our most vulnerable students, households with limited internet access, and our hard working educators.
We should be forward-looking as technological advancements, like artificial intelligence and automation, dramatically shift how our economy works. To prepare our children for the jobs of tomorrow, we must expand computer science education, foster innovative and creative learning, develop critical thinking skills, and support STEAM education. We also need to bring our classrooms into the 21st century by deploying high-speed broadband and Wi-Fi in every school, particularly in rural and tribal communities.
Finally, I remain committed to bringing down the cost of higher education so everyone has access to a quality college education. The rising cost of higher education in America poses serious challenges to millions of middle-class families who are being forced to take out extremely burdensome loans to pay for tuition, fees, textbooks, and housing.
That’s why I introduced and fought to pass the Faster Access for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Act, which makes it easier to apply for federal financial aid. This law also provides $250 million annually for historically black colleges and universities as well as minority-serving institutions across the country. I’m also the champion of the Electronic Books Opening Opportunity for Knowledge Act, which would increase access to low-cost or free digital course materials and help college students save money on textbooks.