As a proud graduate of Baltimore City Public Schools, I am a big believer that there can be no greater priority than providing access to a high-quality education. Education is truly the great equalizer in our society. Learners of all ages depend on access to quality education at every level, from pre-school through K-12 to higher education or career and technology education. I will advocate for federal education policies that enable students to succeed in the classroom, educators across our state to be excited about teaching, and parents and community advocates to have a voice in the education of their children. I am committed to providing funding for early childhood education, teacher and principal training, civic and government education, the arts, and environmental literacy curriculum, literacy and mental health supports for our students. Working with Morgan State University and others, I have been a strong proponent of increasing student access to training in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs.

I firmly believe that we must do better to ensure that all students in Maryland receive a high quality, public K-12 education. I’ve been pleased to bring together the Maryland Congressional delegation in support of the Maryland Commission on Innovation & Excellence in Education, commonly known as the Kirwan Commission. This evidence-based effort was established in 2016 by the Maryland General Assembly and the governor to identify what education reforms and additional investments were necessary to address the low levels of college and career readiness and troubling lags in the academic performance of students of color and students living in concentrated poverty as compared to the rest of the student population. I am committed to supporting the implementation of the report’s recommendations through federal funding and legislation and proud of how Maryland leaders have come together to address this critically important issue. I will continue to prioritize this and other efforts to ensure that every student in Maryland can meet his or her educational dreams and aspirations.

With students and families facing ever-increasing student debt loads, now is the time to provide affordable, high-quality educational opportunities that allow students to invest in their educational goals without taking on generational debt. As a first step, I’ve introduced the Strengthening American Communities Act to create a debt-free pathway for students to earn an undergraduate degree if they commit to public service for at least three years after graduation, and to accelerate the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program for existing public servants to pay down their student loan debts. I also support the America’s College Promise plan which would allow academically successful students to earn the first two years of their college degree tuition-free at a community college or Minority Serving Institution such as Maryland’s four Historically Black Colleges and Universities., I will continue to advocate for students and parents who have already taken out student loans to be allowed to refinance  those loans at today’s lower interest rates and for student loan servicers to be required to provide borrowers with accurate and complete information.. Finally, I support allowing hardworking Maryland students with high debt to income ratios to fulfill their obligations by paying a percentage of their discretionary income, as through the Department of Education’s Income Driven Repayment Plans. These and other steps to relieve crippling student loan debts are critical to empowering this generation to participate fully in our economy, ultimately benefitting all Americans.